Advances in technology can change our lives, but they also change the way scam artists can reach us.
Some recent scams are effective because they use reputable companies that we trust, so we're more likely to walk into the scam before we start asking questions.
Netflix is a company that has changed the way we watch TV and movies by giving us video on demand. Scammers lead Netflix subscribers to a phony webpage that looks similar to the real Netflix page, so we trust it. After logging in, subscribers are told their account has been suspended and they are given a customer service number to call.
This is where scammers do the legwork. They have actual customer service representatives standing by to take calls. They tell people to download customer support software, that software is fake and gives the scammer full access to the Netflix subscriber's computer.
How do you avoid this scam?
-Try to avoid links in emails, type in a company's address manually.
-Look for odd URL's, they contain a common name, but have a jumble of letters and numbers after it.
-Finally, look up a company's phone number and call them directly.
There is also a scam involving Snapchat, an app where people can send pictures to their friends and those pictures disappear after a few seconds.
Scammers have found a way to use Snapchat for scams with long-lasting effects. They pose as companies and send a picture that says you won a prize and sends you to a website to claim their prize.
Once a person is there, not only do they have to give personal information, they have to choose an app to download before you can claim anything. It could be a way for companies to generate more downloads, it could also be a way to download a virus to your phone.
To avoid this scam, remember you can't win a contest you didn't enter! Be careful if you've been selected as a winner for something you've never heard of. Download your apps through the official app store, not alternative markets. And again, try to avoid clicking on links from an unfamiliar source.
These are just a few examples, there are many more scams out there. If you would like to share your scam with us, you can email Mark McPherson at firstname.lastname@example.org, please include a copy of the scam. Or leave a message on our News8000 Facebook page.
If you want the latest consumer scams, go to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.