HAMPTON ROADS, Va.— Americans hand over billions of dollars to thieves every year.
Millions of people don’t realize they’re a victim until it’s too late, and believe it or not, millennials are being deceived more than older generations.
Attorney General Mark Herring says, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
Herring is sounding the alarm on an alarming number of Americans being duped out of their cold hard cash.
“Usually scams are 100% preventable, if you do your homework, if you’re vigilant,” says Herring.
One method is the “Gift Card Scam.” Thieves call pretending to be a utility company, government or law enforcement agency and demand victims put money on a prepaid card to pay off a fake debt.
Then there’s the scam the tugs at the victim’s heart strings: the “Grandparent Scam.” The con artist contacts the victim, posing as a grandchild or relative who needs money to pay for a fake lawyer, hospital bills, or bail.
But It’s not grandparents that need to be worried the most.
Millennials who are as old 39 and as young as 24 lost more money to scams than older Americans did according to Herring.
“It could be because they are very tech savvy and feel very comfortable online, but that’s why I think it’s especially important for everyone to be on the look out and be vigilant.”
There’s nothing lovable about the “Puppy Scam.” People think they’re buying an incredibly good boy or girl from only to find out the dog doesn’t exist after forking over hundreds of dollars.
Your chances of falling for the “Lottery Scam” are perhaps better than winning a real jackpot
The victim is told they need to pay some sort of fee in order to claim their prize or winnings from a game they never entered.
The scammer may ask you to call a number that charges a premium rate while they keep you on the line to run up a hefty charge.
Scammers are always coming up with new trick, but so it’s important to always watch out for the red flags.
“It’s important for everyone to take precautions, be suspicious of online solicitation, be careful about clicking on suspicious links, things like that— some simple things to help avoid becoming a victim of a scam,” said Herring.