Citywide Banks, a division of HTLF Bank
How to Spot Today's Scam Trends

A scammer can pretend to be someone you trust, often a government agent, family member, or someone who promises to fix something that is important to you. Stay alert and beware of today’s common fraud trends.

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Since the pandemic hit in 2020, fraud attempts have drastically increased. A variety of new scams emerged preying on those hit hardest financially by the pandemic and subsequent closures and shutdowns. Such as people who have become isolated, the elderly, as well as those who want to be helpful to those in crisis. The pandemic provided an opportunity for cyber criminals and new types of scams to arise.

Scams can vary but often operate similarly. For example, Imposter scams usually begin with a call, text message, or email. A scammer pretends to be someone you trust, often a government agent, family member, or someone who promises to fix something that is important to you – convincing you to send them money or share personal information. Being cautious and keeping an eye out for common fraud schemes in today’s world can help keep you safe. If you find yourself a victim of a recent fraud scheme, tell bank personnel immediately. We can help to stop and prevent it from recurring. Here are some common fraud scams that are relevant today:

  • Romance scam: Criminals pose as interested romantic partners on social media or dating websites.
  • Tech support scam: Criminals pose as technology support representatives and offer to fix non-existent computer issues.
  • Grandparent scam: Criminals pose as a relative – usually a child or grandchild – claiming to be in immediate financial need.
  • Sweepstakes/charity/lottery scam: Criminals claim to work for a charitable organization to gain victims’ trust, or claim the victim has won a foreign lottery or sweepstakes, which they can collect for a “fee.”
  • Home repair scam: Criminals appear in person and charge homeowners in advance for home improvements.
  • TV/radio scam: Criminals target potential victims using advertisements about services, such as reverse mortgages or credit repair.
  • Family/caregiver scam: Perpetrators are relatives or acquaintances of the elderly victims and take advantage of them to get their money.
  • Investment scam: Criminals offer unsuitable investments, fraudulent offerings, and unrecognized products which can result in the theft or misappropriation of funds.

How to protect yourself:

  • Stop communications with the perpetrator.
  • Search online for the contact information and the proposed offer.
  • Resist the pressure to act quickly. Perpetrators create a sense of urgency to produce fear and need for immediate action.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited phone calls, mailings, and door-to-door service offers.
  • Never provide any personally identifiable information.
  • Never wire money to unknown or unverified people or businesses.
  • Ensure all computer anti-virus and security software are up to date.
  • If you receive a suspicious pop-up or locked screen on your device, immediately disconnect from the internet and turn off the device.
  • Do not open any emails or click on attachments you do not recognize.
  • If victimized, take precautions to protect your identity and monitor your accounts for suspicious activity.

You can also utilize the below resources to help you take the necessary precautions to keep your identity protected:

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Fraud Center
Stay one step ahead of fraudsters with knowledge and tools from Citywide Banks, a division of HTLF Bank.


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