2 min read

FTC and Law Enforcement Agencies Partner up against Fraudulent Income Schemes Targeting Consumers

Alina BÎZGĂ

December 15, 2020

Ad One product to protect all your devices, without slowing them down.
Free 90-day trial
FTC and Law Enforcement Agencies Partner up against Fraudulent Income Schemes Targeting Consumers

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in partnership with 19 law enforcement agencies, recently disclosed a nationwide clampdown on fraudulent income schemes, including fake jobs, pyramid schemes and investment opportunities targeting US consumers.

It’s no secret that the economic condition created by the pandemic economic conditions has fueled the spread of income scams targeting individuals who either lost their jobs or need extra income to support their household.

According to an FTC report, consumers have lost more than $610 million to scammers since 2016, with more than $150 million reported losses in the first nine months of the pandemic.

The operation dubbed “Income Illusion” saw more than 50 law enforcement actions since the start of 2020 against fraudsters promising remote work opportunities, employment scams or fake coaching courses. The FTC’s efforts are expected to end these deceptive income schemes while returning victims” money.

“Scammers are preying on the unemployment and anxiety arising from the pandemic by making false promises of big income working from home,” Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection said. “If someone promises you guaranteed income, but then tells you to pay them, tell the FTC right away so we can work to shut them down.”

The most common tactic used by income scammers includes a fake job listing involving fake checks. According to reports, individuals who apply for these bogus jobs go through the hiring process very quickly.

“Scammers tell people hired as “mystery shoppers” to buy gift cards as they evaluate a retailer (the scammers get the gift card PIN numbers, of course),” the FTC explained. “People hired as “virtual personal assistants” are told to send some of the money to a supposed supplier of home office equipment. Other people have even reported that their so-called boss told them to use some of the funds to buy gift cards for co-workers sick with COVID-19.”

By the time the bank uncovers that the check is fraudulent, the employee must pay back the funds, reaching a median of $2,300.

The agency also reported that investment cons targeting individuals in their 50s and 60s racked up a median loss of nearly $24,000 per victim. Consumers are advised to watch out for deceptive income schemes by researching the online company that is “hiring” and avoiding advertised success stories on social media that promise overnight wealth.

tags


Author



Right now

Top posts

The Holiday Guide to Tech Support: Fixing the Family Computer

The Holiday Guide to Tech Support: Fixing the Family Computer

November 24, 2021

2 min read
Bitdefender Celebrates 20 Years of Cybersecurity Leadership

Bitdefender Celebrates 20 Years of Cybersecurity Leadership

November 04, 2021

3 min read
Bitdefender Study Reveals How Consumers Like (and Dislike) Managing Passwords

Bitdefender Study Reveals How Consumers Like (and Dislike) Managing Passwords

October 26, 2021

3 min read
What are drive-by download attacks and how do you prevent them?

What are drive-by download attacks and how do you prevent them?

October 25, 2021

2 min read
Criminals Can't Wait to Add Your IoT Device to Their DDoS Networks

Criminals Can't Wait to Add Your IoT Device to Their DDoS Networks

October 22, 2021

2 min read
Six in 10 Consumers Faced a Cyber Threat in 2021, New Bitdefender Study Reveals

Six in 10 Consumers Faced a Cyber Threat in 2021, New Bitdefender Study Reveals

October 20, 2021

3 min read

FOLLOW US ON

SOCIAL MEDIA


You might also like

Common Credentials Criminals Use in IoT Dictionary Attacks Revealed Common Credentials Criminals Use in IoT Dictionary Attacks Revealed
Silviu STAHIE

November 30, 2021

3 min read
Interpol Busts 1,000 Cyber Crooks and Recovers $27M in Massive Fraud Crackdown Interpol Busts 1,000 Cyber Crooks and Recovers $27M in Massive Fraud Crackdown
Filip TRUȚĂ

November 29, 2021

2 min read
Social media firms will be forced to unmask online trolls, says Australia Social media firms will be forced to unmask online trolls, says Australia
Graham CLULEY

November 29, 2021

2 min read