In the age of social media, email and other internet options, scammers are getting the best of many people in Wyoming. Be alert for all types of scams, but one type my bank Wells Fargo just sent me an email about is Imposter Scams.

Scamming didn't begin with the internet, but it's become much easier for scammers to take advantage of unsuspecting Wyomingites. It worries me how simple it is for someone to get the upper hand because they weren't paying attention to what was happening around them online. The FBI released a report earlier this year showing that in 2020 Wyoming had 900 victims of internet crime with a total of more than $5 Million in losses. Those numbers were nearly double what they were in 2019.

Just recently, Wells Fargo Bank sent me an email telling me about the imposter scamming that some have fallen for. There are multiple types of the Imposter Scams, so thought I would pass the information on to you.

Family Imposters

These are scams that have been happening via phone for years. You'll get a call from someone saying they're one of your family members and they're in trouble. They try to get you to give them money or credit card information over the phone. Now, the same technique is being used through social media. Once someone's account has been hacked, the hacker will have access to all of their friends on their list. If you receive a message through social media from a family member asking for money, make sure you call you that person and make sure it's legit.

Financial Imposters

If someone from a financial institution contacts you out of the blue and tells you that there has been an issue with your account and they need your password, pin number or access code, you should know that your bank or the government will never call you and ask for this information. Be alert if you get this type of call, there's good chance it's a scammer that has changed their Caller ID information

Refund Imposters

You should never give control of your device to anyone. Scammers will often disguise themselves as well-known companies to try and gain access to your account. They may tell you that you over paid and will receive a refund, but you need to give them your checking account information so they can put the refund through. Or maybe call you and say that you need to make a payment and need your account information. If it sound fishy, there's a good chance it's sketchy.

Celebrity Imposters

Social media is a great way to stay up with your favorite singer, actor or politician. I've heard many stories about people who thought they were in a relationship with a celebrity and were sending gift cards to help them out. In most cases, these were people that did not have the verified blue checkmark that social media sites give out. It's very common for celebrities to post on Instagram or Facebook that they ONLY have one account because scammers will message fans of that celebrity that may comment on one of their posts.

Be aware of what's happening online and check out Wells Fargo's Fraud Prevention and Cybersecurity Tips

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