The “Pokémon Go” craze is hot. So are a series of consumer tips by the Better Business Bureau to better use “Pokémon Go” safely, and notices from leading tech reporters of “Pokémon Go” scams including a phishing scheme alerting players they need a $12.99 upgrade or their accounts will freeze.
The “upgrade campaign” is designed to steal money and identity information from unsuspecting victims, and is another indicator that scammers continue to change tactics to match the times.
The fake message and upgrade are a new version of old scams being reworked into a digital age. Chicago and Northern Illinois BBB President and CEO, Steve Bernas says “Scammers are always looking for opportunities to exploit hot trends that spark high emotions and often hot events and new technologies are targeted.” With the majority of “Pokémon Go” enthusiasts being of the Millennial Age…here are some other tricks being used by scammers to advance with the times and trends.
One-Ring Phone Scams
Millennials have helped lead the way for Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers to use mobile phones for everything – texting, social media, apps and browsing, all which makes the mobile world an irresistible target for scammers. The one-ring scam uses automated calls programmed to look like they came from a domestic number. But when you call back, you’re making an expensive international call.
Scammers often use these calls, to verify that phone numbers on a list they’ve obtained are legitimate. They then may call again with another scam.
BBB recommends that you register your cell phone with the national Do Not Call Registry.. Do not respond to unfamiliar numbers, especially if the phone only rings once, and don’t press any numbers in a voice response call from an unidentified number.
False job postings online may look legitimate, but they’re really schemes to commit fraud, either by asking you to pay for merchandise to sell or for pre-employment screenings like drug tests or as a way to get sensitive information like Social Security numbers that can be used to commit fraud.
BBB advises job seekers to be skeptical of unsolicited job offers, especially mystery shopping or work-at-home schemes, which are almost always scams.
Never give your Social Security number to an employer until you’ve been hired. Your employer will need that information to report your earnings and for payroll tax purposes.
Public Wi-Fi Scams
Free Internet at libraries, coffee shops and malls is a great convenience, but it’s not secure. Scammers often hack into the networks looking for victims using laptops, tablets or phones. Never use public Wi-Fi for sensitive transactions like banking or making online purchases.
Social Media Scams
A series of scams on social media platforms are being reported including this recent warning from the Better Business Bureau of an Instagram hacking campaign..
If you feel you have encountered a scam — please check it out or report it to the Better Business Bureau. You can find reputable businesses and search our databases for free at www.ask.bbb.org and see the latest scams in your area and report incidents to the BBB Scam Tracker at www.bbb.org/chicago is a tool that allows consumers to check out scams online and report scammers. BBB works with law enforcement and the media to publicize scams. More than 30,000 scams have been reported using the online tool since it was rolled out last year.
For more consumer tips, visit www.bbb.org/chicago, and like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or add us on Pinterest.