Scams to Watch Out For in 2023

The latest scams to look out for in 2023.

Older couple smiling at their tablet.

Scammers continue to use the same slick tactics to steal money and valuable information from unsuspecting victims. But there’s good news. Because these crooks stick with tried-and-true methods, you can more easily identify these fraud schemes. While they might tweak their strategies to fit the situation, you can still keep your financial data and personal information secure when you know how to spot these popular scams:

Romance Scams

Scammers use fake profiles to build relationships with unsuspecting victims and gain their trust. Once they’ve earned that trust, the scammer will try to persuade the victim to give them access to their accounts or send them money, typically through methods that can’t be traced, such as wire transfers, prepaid gift cards, or peer-to-peer payment systems.

Student Loan Forgiveness Scams

While the current administration is working to grant student loan forgiveness to millions of borrowers, fraudsters are hoping to rake in millions of dollars with this scam. Crooks are encouraging people to fill out loan forgiveness applications at a phony government website, where they can capture Social Security numbers and other sensitive financial data.


Employment Scams

With the new year comes a renewed enthusiasm to find a new job. Unfortunately, cybercriminals know this and will try to exploit your desire to land a new position. Fake job offers are common and often require an upfront payment for processing fees, security deposits, etc.


SIM Swapping

If you have a working cell phone, a SIM card lives inside it. This tiny smart card is unique to your device and stores sensitive data like your phone contacts, text messages, and personal security keys. You might recall receiving a SIM card from your mobile carrier when you set up your device.

All a hacker needs to do is assign your phone number to a new SIM card to steal the information saved on your device. Crooks can then access login credentials to your financial institution, social media accounts, and other online websites you visit since the multi-authentication code will now be sent to their device.

Cryptocurrency Scams

These scams convince victims to invest in worthless currencies, wallets, or initial coin offerings (ICOs). Scammers may also use sham websites, email addresses, or social media accounts to hype how much money you’re guaranteed to receive in return for your investment. Remember that cryptocurrencies are not regulated.

How to Avoid Scams

Criminals might combine parts of several scams to convince you to open your wallet or provide private information. But despite the method used to lure you into their scheme, you can escape their trap if you:

  • Stay skeptical of unsolicited messages. Scammers use spoofing techniques to convince people that their phone calls, text messages, and emails originate from legitimate sources.

If a government agency, financial institution, or company you do business with contacts you out of the blue, pause before you respond to requests for personal information.

Do not share any account information unless you’ve verified the caller or communication by contacting the agency or business at the phone number on their main website.

  • Make payments via traceable means. Cryptocurrency, gift card, and wire transfer payments are hard, or even impossible, to trace. Crooks prefer them since they are hard to track. Treat these payments like cash.
  • Before you send a company money, do your research. Stop communication if a company asks for unusual personal information like mortgage details or investment account balances.
  • Say “no” to overpayments. If an individual or company asks you to deposit a personal check, money order, or cashier’s check and refund the overpayment to them, it’s a scam. Do not deposit the payment. It can take weeks to discover these payments are worthless. You could be responsible for any purchases you make using the funds.
  • Secure your mobile device. Contact your mobile phone company for extra security options they make available to customers. Some providers offer non-SMS multifactor authentication, call filters, and digital security apps.

Resolve to foil the plans of criminals by staying alert to their fraud schemes. It could result in a truly happy new year – for you!