AG’s office releases top scams of 2019

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Montpelier, VT – Last year, Vermonters filed more than 5,000 reports of scams with the Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program (CAP). To make matters worse, as old scams persisted, new ones emerged. According to the AG’s office, of the top ten scams out there, the Social Security number phishing scam outpaced the IRS scam. This phone scam involves calls claiming that your Social Security number has been compromised, suspended, and/or linked to criminal activity. In 2019 alone, Vermonters filed 1,466 reports of the Social Security number phishing scam.

The “Amazon” credit card phishing scam was also on the rise in 2019, making the list of top 10 scams for the first time, and in May, a scam alert was issued in response to Vermonters’ reports. This scam involves a robocall claiming to be from Amazon regarding outstanding charges on your Amazon account. The scammers may also claim that your credit card has been charged by Amazon. This automated call instructs you to call back to get a refund, at which point scammers request your card number and attempt to gain remote access to your computer.

The top 10 scams of 2019 were:

  1. Social Security number phishing
  2. Computer tech support
  3. Fake sweepstakes
  4. Phony relationships (not grandchild)
  5. Spoofing/reflector calls
  6. Debt collection threats
  7. Grandchild imposter
  8. IRS imposter
  9. Amazon credit card phishing
  10. Online classified listings

Vermonters can report a scam or sign up for the Scam Alert system by going to ago.vermont.gov/cap or by calling the Consumer Assistance Program at 1-800-649-2424.

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