Slam the Scam Day

Published: March 7, 2024

Thursday, March 7, 2024, is National Slam the Scam Day, an initiative created by the Social Security Administration to “raise public awareness to combat Social Security-related scams.” The effort has expanded to include other scams, as frauds and scams continue to rise. According to the Federal Trade Commission, consumers reported more than $10 billion in losses to fraud in 2023, a 14% increase over 2022. Of that, over $7.0 billion was attributable to investment scams and imposter scams, with bank transfers and cryptocurrency the primary culprits.

Klingenstein Fields Advisors strongly supports efforts to help increase your knowledge and awareness of different types of scams and hopefully avoid potential losses. Tax season is a particularly popular time for criminals to attempt government fraud. Scammers often pretend to be from the IRS, SSA, or a law enforcement agency and inform you that you have a debt, fine, or penalty that must be paid immediately or else face large fines or criminal charges. It’s important to keep in mind that the government will never:

  • Order you to send money immediately or else face arrest or legal action
  • Tell you your benefits could be increased, or your issue eliminated if you pay a fee or transfer money into a “protected” account
  • Ask for payment with gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfer, internet currency, or by mailing cash
  • Try to gain your trust by providing fake “documentation,” false “evidence,” or the name of a government official

Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and branching out in their criminal attempts. Some of the other most common scams are:

Romance: You meet someone online through a dating app or other online platform. The scammer cultivates a strong emotional relationship, then eventually claims some sort of hardship and “reluctantly” asks you for money.

Sweepstakes/lottery: You are contacted and told you are a lucky winner. However, to claim your prize, you are asked to pay a small fee and/or provide personal information or your bank account information.

Investment: You are offered a unique once in a lifetime opportunity that “can’t lose,” but you must act fast (typically by wiring money or through crypto) or you will miss out on the chance to invest.

Tech or Fraud Support: There are several approaches to this criminal activity. You may receive an unsolicited phone call or pop-up on your device asking for access to run diagnostics, which will uncover potential viruses or malware. You may get an email with an invoice for tech support or virus detection software you don’t even have, or you may be informed a refund is due on a service you never signed up for, with a request for a credit card number to refund the overpayment.

Business email compromise: You receive an email from what appears to be a trusted source with information or requests that involve sending money or personal information to the supposedly legitimate sender.

We are committed to helping you reduce the risk of being a victim and encourage you to read our Tips for Recognizing and Preventing Scams.

If you ever experience any cyber incidents affecting any of your devices or accounts or believe that you have been a victim of a scam or other cybercrime, please contact us at 212-492-7000 so that we can take steps with your custodian to help secure your assets.

Important Disclosures

This material is provided for informational or educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment, accounting, tax or legal advice. Always consult a financial, tax and/or legal professional regarding your specific situation. This communication is not intended as a recommendation or as investment advice of any kind. It is not provided in a fiduciary capacity and may not be relied upon for or in connection with the making of investment decisions. Nothing herein constitutes or should be construed as an offering of advisory services or an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any securities or a recommendation to invest in any specific investment strategy. Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. The views expressed herein are as of a particular point in time and are subject to change without notice. The information and opinions presented herein are general in nature and have been obtained from, or are based on, sources believed by Klingenstein Fields Advisors (“KF Advisors’) to be reliable, but KF Advisors makes no representation as to their accuracy or completeness. Although the information provided is carefully reviewed, KF Advisors cannot be held responsible for any direct or incidental loss resulting from applying any of the information provided. KF Advisors represents two investment advisers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission: Klingenstein, Fields & Co., L.P. and KF Group, LP. If you are a KF Advisors client, please remember that it remains your responsibility to advise KF Advisors, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services.