In this ‘Eye on Scams’ podcast, News 10 Anchor Sylvia Masters talks with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana’s Chris Babin, about scams targeting people in the Acadiana area.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, thieves are taking advantage of increased unemployment to collect benefits in the names of unsuspecting victims. Experts warn to be sure to guard your personal information and report suspicious activity, as unemployment fraud is costing the United States government billions of dollars.
Utility imposter scams are targeting residents in Acadiana. In this con, scammers impersonate water, electric, and gas company representatives. They frequently threaten residents and business owners with deactivation of service if they don’t pay up immediately. This scam is most common in the winter and summer months when people are most likely to need their heat or air conditioning. Utility company imposters will typically reach you with a telephone call or knock on your door claiming to be a representative from the local water, gas, or electric company. In the most common scenario, the scammer informs you that payment is overdue, and the utility will be shut off if you don’t pay up immediately.
Typosquatting or URL hijacking is a scam that happens when con-artists buy the misspellings of web addresses to get online traffic from typing errors.
Gift cards are an increasingly popular tool for scammers. The Better Business Bureau is receiving numerous reports of scams involving gift cards, with hundreds of millions of dollars in losses over the last few years. News 10 spoke to an Acadiana resident who fell victim to this scam.