“Recent Scams” In Santa Cruz County
; 2-sided pamphlet from your Consumer Fraud & Protection sectionDepartment of Elder Justice pamphlet “Elder Justice Initiative”
fact sheet about Financial Scams
From AVG: 3 ways to steer clear of ransomware
- Use antivirus software with built-in ransomware protection and make sure it’s always up-to-date.
- Be wary of pop-ups that randomly appear when you’re online pushing you to install new or updated software.
- Only ever download apps directly from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or Microsoft Store.
Get tips to spot and avoid scams like identity theft, investment fraud,
and holiday scams, as well as ongoing updates from resources like
Watchdog Alerts and a scam-tracking map that provides real-time alerts
from law enforcement in your state.
Look out for COVID-19 scams
Unfortunately, scammers are using the COVID-19 pandemic to try to steal your Medicare Number, personal information, and money. And they're using robocalls, social media posts, and emails to do it.
Remember, if anyone reaches out to get your Medicare Number or personal information in exchange for something, you can bet it's a scam.
Be on the lookout, so you can stop scams before they happen.Here are recent Coronavirus scams to watch for:
- Robocalls offering you respiratory masks they'll never send
- Social media posts fraudulently seeking donations for non-existent charities, or claiming to give you stimulus funds if you enter your bank account information
- Fake testing kits, cures, "immunity" pills, and offers for protective equipment
for more information and tips on preventing Medicare scams and fraud.
Watch out for scams related to Economic Impact Payments
IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for scams related to the
Economic Impact Payments. To use the new app or get information,
taxpayers should visit
IRS.gov. People should watch out for scams using email, phone calls or
texts related to the payments. Be careful and cautious: The IRS will not
send unsolicited electronic communications asking people to open
attachments, visit a website or share personal
or financial information. Remember, go directly and solely to IRS.gov
for official information.
The IRS will post frequently asked questions on IRS.gov/coronavirus
will provide updates as soon as they are available.
One way scammers can gain access to your credit or debit card
information is through a process called skimming. This is when
thieves "skim" your information from your card by installing
their own scanners into public card readers. Standalone ATMs and
gas station pumps are particularly susceptible to this type of
Here are some things to be aware of to keep yourself safe:
- Inspect the ATM, gas pump, or credit card reader before
using it. Look for anything loose, crooked, or damaged, and
take notice of scratches or adhesive and tape residue. Give
the card insert location a slight wiggle before inserting your
card to see if anything comes apart.
- When entering your PIN, block the keypad with your other
hand to prevent possible hidden cameras from recording your
- If you receive a “transaction could not be completed”
message, or if the device asks you to re-swipe multiple times,
this may be a sign that a skimming device is present.
- Keep an eye out for suspicious vehicles near the ATM or for
people hovering nearby watching over the card reader.
- Look over your Card Transaction History regularly to make
sure that there are no unfamiliar charges on it. If you find a
suspicious charge, report it and cancel the card immediately.