ASC sends alert for Halloween scams
Published 11:46 am Friday, October 29, 2021
By ZACHARY SEIFTER/ Staff Writer
With Halloween approaching, there are many people that can be tricked into holiday tactics set up by con artists. These con artists can create convincing websites, emails and other online tactics that can convince people to give them their money.
However, the Alabama Securities Commission issued an alert on Oct. 28 to inform people of current scams that they could see on Halloween.
One of the most common scams that people could see are phishing emails. These are phony emails that look as though they are real. Typically, the email will say that the recipient is being charged a bill, and when the individual calls the number left on the email to dispute it, the person on the other end of the line will ask for card information, tricking someone into giving away their money.
Another common con is online shopping scams, where vendors post an item for sale at a price much cheaper than it typically would be. Online shoppers will then purchase the item, giving their debit/credit card information to the “seller” even though the item is not actually for sale.
The last common scam listed by the ASC in their alert is phony crypto companies. These scammers solicit investors, promising them high returns on investments and little to no risk. Many investors are looking to invest in cryptocurrency companies, and scammers pose themselves as the next big thing in cryptocurrency.
“Fraudsters will use any method available to cheat investors out of thousands of dollars,” ASC Director Joseph Borg said. “We are seeing an increase of scams where fraudsters seek access to a person’s cellphone or computer. From there, they could install malware or drain investment and bank accounts.”
The ASC requests that anyone with concerns about someone trying to obtain consumer information, or has suspicions of fraud or inappropriate securities business practice, contact the ASC at 1-800-222-1253.
For free investor education and fraud prevention material, visit asc.alabama.gov.