Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

CONSUMER FIRST ALERT: Companies Frequently Targeted by Scammers

By ScamRipper Jun 1, 2024 #Scam Awareness

A new report reveals the businesses most frequently impersonated by scammers.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that people lost over $600 million to business impersonation scams last year, making it the most costly type of fraud.

Scammers use the names of well-known, trusted businesses to make their scams appear legitimate.

For instance, if you receive a bill claiming to be from Best Buy or its Geek Squad, exercise caution. According to the FTC, this is scammers’ favorite company to impersonate.

While working on this report, an Action 2 News producer received a scam email from the Geek Squad, claiming his subscription was renewing for $599. He knew it was a scam because he never signed up for such a service. The provided phone number was not the actual contact number for Best Buy or its technical support unit.

The FTC states that consumers reported losing $15 million to Best Buy and Geek Squad-related scams in 2023, with about 52,000 reports of scammers impersonating Best Buy last year.

Businesses Ranked by Number of Impersonation Complaints:

  1. Best Buy/Geek Squad
  2. Amazon
  3. PayPal
  4. Microsoft
  5. Publisher’s Clearing House

Businesses Ranked by Money Lost to Impersonation Scams:

  1. Microsoft ($60 million)
  2. Publishers Clearing House ($49 million)
  3. Amazon ($19 million)
  4. Apple ($17 million)
  5. PayPal ($16 million)

Sixty million dollars were lost to Microsoft impersonation scams, a type of tech scam we have reported on before. Another $49 million was lost to Publishers Clearing House impersonation scams, where scammers use the prize company’s name, often sending fake checks and claiming you must pay fees to claim your prize.

Many people wonder, “If I report this, will I get my money back?”

The FTC’s new rule on business and government impersonation, finalized in April, provides stronger tools against scammers using business logos, lookalike websites, or email addresses. This rule enables the FTC to file federal court cases to seek refunds for victims and impose civil penalties on violators.

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