person holding white Samsung Galaxy 4 cellphone
Lindsey LaMont on Unsplash

Just after tax season, countless Americans might find themselves startled by an automated message from the IRS, saying they have a warrant issued for their arrest owing to money owed and they must call this number immediately.

Of course, the IRS would never call someone to warn them in this manner, and these automated calls are part of an elaborate scam.

But sadly, scams are becoming more and more convincing with each passing day, often taking direct aim at people where they're at their most notable.

Making it hard to detect what is, in fact, a legitimate message, and what is simply an attempt to steal your personal information or hack your bank account.

Redditor Character_Dealer_528 was curious to hear about the many active scams the public needs to know about, both well-known and under the radar, leading them to ask:
"What is a Scam that everybody should know about?"

Always Go Back To The Source

"If you every get an email about account activity that you aren't expecting, I.E password changes, sus logins, etc., NEVER click the link that was sent to you."

"Instead open a new window or tab and go to the website contacting you and use their proper support line."- DrPepster

Praying On The Elderly And Vulnerable

"Scams I've warned my parents about:"

"NEVER get onto a computer if a 'customer service' rep who called them tells them to."

"I will never take a trip overseas without telling them, find myself stranded and need money wired to me."- dougiebgood

When You Have To Pay To Pay...

"Being charged a 'convenience fee' for the 'honor' of being able to pay a bill by phone or online."

"Uhm - really? "

"I have to PAY you to PAY you?"- Senior_Morng4210

man on cellphone asking to speak to manager GIF


Read The Fine Print

"The Biden Administration is not personally contacting you about insurance or student loan debt."- 1Strict-Succotash-405

Be Careful What You Do On Camera

"I've seen a ton of this scam happening:"

"Dude meets 'hot girl' online somehow, whether from a dating site, or forum somewhere, instagram, etc."

'Hot girl' asks to snapchat / facetime / whatever, for sexy stuff."

"Dude jerks off on video for 'her'."

"'Hot girl' turns out to not be a hot girl, and is instead a scammer who now threatens to send that video to all of his instagram, twitter, facebook, etc. followers unless he sends money."

"This crazily seems to happen ALL THE TIME and people still fall for it."- Top-Royal6249

"See The Pyramids Along The Nile..." Or Online...

"Every single MLM out there."

"There is not a single 'good' one."

"It has nothing to do with products and everything to do with the business model."

"You are set up to fail 100 percent of the time."- PumpkinPure5643

The Simpsons pyramid scheme GIF


Be Selective With Online Shopping

"I'm a postal worker."

"A problem I've uncovered a couple of times are on-line sellers giving you a tracking number for a small inexpensive item that is going to the same zip code as the item that you have ordered."

"When that item is scanned 'delivered', 99% of the time to another postal customer, you will think that your nice expensive item that you have ordered is lost or mis-delivered when in reality it was never sent at all."

"Or your PayPal account is hacked with the same scenario--the expensive item that you have ordered is diverted to another party and the tracking number that you had issued to you is for an inexpensive item going to the same zip code."

"I had that happen just yesterday in fact."

"A lady came in screaming at me because 'I' lost her package that she said was delivered to a parcel locker, according to her tracking number, but it wasn't there."

"That package was indeed still there at the post office and I pulled it out to show her."

"It was addressed to another customer and it had been delivered to them in the parcel locker, as the tracking number indicated."

"So, be careful when you shop on-line."

"Thieves find ways to capitalize on anything."- touristspleasegoaway

Get A Good Realtor...

"HoA charging a fee to sell your house."

"Especially when it's a % of the cost of the house."- MMOAddict

When A Job Seems To Good To Be True

"Fake job scams are becoming increasingly common now that WFH jobs are becoming popular, here is how it works.

"An 'employer' contacts you for an interview, the pay is usually very good, too good to refuse especially for people who are down bad."

"You 'pass' the interview and you're sent the generic hiring paperwork, this is really bad as it is sometimes almost impossible at this stage to tell it's a scam, but there are ways to tell which I'll explain later."

"Forms like a W2, I9 and Direct Deposit forms, stuff you would normally fill out for a legit job but it gives them all of your very personal information such as your SSN.

"This is where the scam becomes obvious, they tell you that you need to purchase the equipment, such as a laptop, printer, software, etc."

"They will tell you that they will cover it and they send you a check."

"Then you're supposed to buy the stuff, usually through sketchy means like wire transfer or gift cards."

"Since the check is fake, once you spend this money the check will inevitably bounce and now you're down the hole by the thousands, your 'employer' now dips out and you're scammed."

"There might be easier ways to tell, but my advice is to always ask how you will be receiving your supplies before filing any paperwork and sending it to them."

"If they refuse to tell you how it will work, or they tell you anything involving having you purchase the equipment, it's a scam and you can just dip out, or mess with them if you have the time to do so :)."

"I nearly fell for one of these scams a few months ago."

"I never sent them the money because it was obvious, but at that stage I already sent them my SSN and other information."

"I had to freeze all of my credit, which there are guides on how to do so that are easily found."

"If you get caught in a scam like this, I would recommend getting a new bank account(s), freezing all your credit, filing a fraud report for your credit."

"This will prevent any scammers from opening any loans or credit lines in your name."

"File a report for a stolen SSN and contact the FTC and file a report with them as well with as much detail as you can."- team-tree-syndicate

Cheyenne Jackson saying "You need this job." GIFGiphy

Scams have come a long way from snake oils and miracle cures.

And sadly, technology has made it even easier for scammers to access our personal and financial information.

With this in mind, should you ever receive a text message or an email which seems unusual, or delivering good news which seems too good to be true, always err on the side of caution.