Scams to watch for in the new year

Fraud, audit, auditor.

While a new year brings a fresh start, unfortunately there are more scams to keep watch out for as we jump into 2021.

With the pandemic still raging on, many scams as a result of COVID-19 continue to pop up, including fraudulent unemployment claims. In these instances of fraud, scammers are using the IDs of individuals to apply for unemployment. To make their case, scammers claim that the employer is someone the victim of identity theft is currently working for or recently retired from.

According to Ryan Jones, OVB senior vice president, chief risk officer, these claims have impacted individuals and businesses nation-wide, including those locally.

“Fraud and scams continue to be on the rise during the pandemic. OVB, as well as other businesses, have seen examples where fraudulent unemployment claims are being attempted at both small and large businesses,” Jones said. “If one is a victim to a fraudulent unemployment claim, we suggest you contact Job and Family Services Fraud Department and your local police department to report the activity.”

Jones added that there are various methods scammers use to track down consumer personal information for the unemployment claim scam.

“Every consumer needs to be aware of the various methods used to obtain personal information through social media platforms, emails and phone calls. Do not provide any personal information to someone who contacted you ‘out of the blue.’ If you question the conversation, do a call back before you give any information out over the phone or email,” he said.

For more information on fraudulent unemployment claims, please read OVB’s fraud advisory here.

According to Frank Davison, OVB senior vice president, financial bank group, there are many other scams to be aware of as well. The many scams that saw an increase last year, will likely still be very prevalent this year.

“It’s safe to assume that (the top scams from 2020) will continue into 2021, and we will see some new variants pop up as well,” Davison said.

Davison outlined the following scams as the major ones to be mindful of this year: Read more of this post