From fake stimulus money to fake jobs and fake rentals, scammers are hitting hard during this pandemic hoping you are desperate enough to bite.
Text scams are everywhere. Jeffrey received a text saying he'd get a direct deposit of $1,200. It comes from the COVID-19 Treasury. There is no such place.
Audrea's text promised a "$1,625 deposit that may be pending" in her account. She has no account.
And there were surprises for Kimberly and for Keith whose texts said, "we came across a package" and wanted them to confirm ownership. There never was a package.
The Federal Trade Commission warns the package scam is especially big right now with so many people staying home and ordering in.
All of the text scams want the person to click on links, which could allow them into devices to steal information.
Two other big scams also play on these tough times. With more tenants staying in place, fewer units are available and rents in many Arizona communities are high.
Scott thought he found a deal in Tucson at $1,900 a month. He says he even talked to the owner's lawyer and saw ID. So when asked to wire the full amount, he did something no one should ever do. He wired the money upfront. When the supposed owner wanted more, Scott refused, the number was disconnected, and he lost $1,900.
A lot of people are still out of work, so an old scam is seeing a big comeback. Rob got hired online for a job that paid $27 an hour working customer service. They even sent him a check for $3,000 upfront to buy equipment so he could work from home.
As always in these big check deals, the check is fake, which Rob would not have found out until the fake business got some real money from him.
Bottom line, if you get a big check for doing nothing, it's a scam. Never click on unknown links. And if you're asked to wire money upfront or pay with gift cards, you have my permission to tell the scammer exactly what they can do with the idea.