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Top 10 Scam Predictions for 2017

posted Jan 7, 2017, 8:03 PM by Resty Manapat

1. Phishing and ID theft. Despite the best efforts of security software providers, data breaches, bogus tech support scams and many other tricks designed to snare unsuspecting home users will keep this firmly at the top of our list. 

2. Imposter scams. We don’t see any sign either of a reduction in imposter scams. Expect to see a big surge around tax filing times, while scammers will undoubtedly come up with a whole batch of new ideas designed to get unsuspecting victims to hand over their money. 

3. Malware. The explosive growth of Internet usage and user failure to keep security software updated will see further growth in the downloading of malware onto both individual and corporate PC systems. 

Experts say more than 300 million new and different pieces of malware are being produced every year. 

4. Internet of Things. We’ll be using more and more connected devices in our homes in 2017 but, as we previously pointed out, manufacturers don’t always treat security as seriously as they should. 

The result? More home devices will become infected and used for various types of theft and spying. 

5. Bogus online sites, robocalls and telesales.  As we mentioned in our 2016 review above, the use of ultra-smart computer programs that can mimic real human conversation is spreading. 

This will enable scammers to step up the number of illegal — and convincing — calls they make. 

6. Dating scams. An estimated 40 million Americans use online dating sites, and scammers are everywhere, trying to trick victims with fake photos and sob stories. 

A lot of these new scams are coming out of Nigeria, replacing the old and well-used “help me get my fortune” and “secret inheritance” types of scams most people are now aware of. 

7. Social media scams. This is another area where we expect to see crooks become more inventive in 2017. Social media sites are now used by virtually everyone who has a computer or smartphone. 

Towards the end of 2016, we saw a return of the “secret sister” pyramid scam, in which victims are encouraged to buy and send a gift to someone on the promise that they will receive 10 in return (which they don’t). Expect to see more of this type of trick. 

8. Advance fees. There are just too many ways scammers can trick people into untraceably wiring them money. Plus, as we’ve previously reported, scammers have now upped the pace of their crooked tricks by demanding payment by gift cards or reloadable debit cards. 

9. Lottery and sweepstakes scams. Anti-fraud teams in the United States, Canada and Jamaica (where many lottery scams originate) are keeping up the pressure on scammers, while widespread publicity is helping to get the message out to the public. 

It will still be a major crime though. 

10. Investment Scams. This one will never go away as long as people have money to invest and cling to the belief that you can make easy money big-time! 

That’s enough crystal ball gazing for now. As the movement in our Top Scams chart shows, there’s always a degree of uncertainty about the tricks that crooks are lining up for us. 

The only thing we can be sure of is that they have us in their sights — so take care!

Source: Scambusters