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Beware of the Latest Scams

It seems that you can’t turn on the news without hearing about the new ways fraudsters are trying to obtain your personal information or take your money. And with these scammers getting smarter and more clever everyday, it can be hard to know what’s real and what is an attempt at taking advantage of you. Many scams are so commonplace – like sweetheart scams and phishing – scammers are becoming more sophisticated, which  makes it even more tricky to tell them from honest people, organizations, and businesses. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is constantly learning about and sharing new scams to help protect you and your hard-earned money, and we have found a few to highlight.


Appointment Setting Job Scam:  The FTC has seen an increase in job scams for appointment setters. The scammers will claim you can make big money while working from home, which may sound like the perfect opportunity for many. There are legitimate jobs for appointment setters, where the employee schedules calls for the company’s sales staff and potential clients to help them close deals – but the income earned in this role is usually modest. Typically, these are roles that are paid hourly, with the possibility for bonuses based on the number of appointments set. Training for this role should be offered at no cost to the employee when legitimate. The scam jobs will promise a high income and ask you to pay upfront for training, which is always a red flag!

Whenever talking with someone about a job opportunity make sure to:

To read more about appointment setter scams from the FTC, click here!


Mystery Shopping: People commonly look for a way to bring in extra money, and one way to do that is to sign up to be a mystery shopper for their companies. Businesses hire mystery shoppers to try products or share their experiences about things like buying or returning items, or overall customer service. While many mystery shopping jobs are real, many are scams. When a scammer “hires” you for a mystery shopping job they will likely send you a check that appears real, but is fake. You will be instructed to deposit the check and use a certain portion to purchase gift cards, with the remaining money being your payment. They will ask you to provide them with the numbers on the back of the gift cards, giving them access to use the gift cards themselves, and once your financial institution realizes the check was fake you will be responsible for paying them back.

Here are a few ways to tell if you are trying to be scammed:

To read more about mystery shopping scams from the FTC, click here!


Investing Help: We have all heard of the typical “sweetheart scam,” where someone pretends to be romantically involved with another person online to get money, gifts, or other undeserved things. But these scammers are evolving and finding new ways to take advantage of their victims. Instead of simply asking for money, they are offering to help their victims “invest” their money. They claim to be experts in investing or cryptocurrency and offer to help you make lots of money with their help. Some signs that they are attempting to scam you are:

To read more about these types of sweetheart scams from the FTC, click here!


Social Security: With the birth of caller ID, it would seem that telling real phone calls apart from a scam call would be easy – but unfortunately its not so simple these days. One of the biggest ways this is used to scam people is by spoofing a legitimate phone number for a person, a business, or even the federal government. A recent scam targeting consumers will show that the Social Security Administration is calling you, when it is in fact a scammer. When you answer, the caller introduces themselves as someone from the SSA, and that they need to speak with you urgently because your social security number and name are being used to commit crimes like money laundering or drug trafficking. The police are on their way to your house now, and in order to not go to jail you need to pay them. The caller will insist you stay on the line with them as you go to the bank and withdraw money. You may feel flustered and panicked, which is exactly what they want. You want to call someone to verify what is happening but the scammer keeps telling you there is no time. If this ever happens to you, STOP! This is a scam!

A few of the tell-tale signs that the call is fake are:

For more information on the SSA scam, click here!

Staying safe from scams requires vigilance and awareness in today’s digital age. It’s crucial to verify the authenticity of any unsolicited communication – whether it’s an email, phone call, or text message, and especially if it involves requests for personal information or money. Be wary of offers that seem too good to be true or pressure you to act quickly. Always double-check the legitimacy of websites before entering sensitive data and consider using secure payment methods for online transactions. Educate yourself and others about common scam tactics, and trust your instincts—if something feels off, it probably is. By staying informed and cautious, you can protect yourself and your finances from falling victim to scams.

If you’re worried you’ve fallen victim to a fraudster, contact us right away. Cutting Edge offers members and their families free identity theft recovery services as a membership benefit!

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