If you’re like me, you get more junk emails than you do legitimate ones and more phone calls from numbers you don’t recognize than from people you actually know. If that’s the case, it should come as no surprise that nearly 55% of all emails are scam [1] and over 10 billion phone calls made in 2017 were scam. [2] A phishing scam is an attempt to fraudulently obtain someone’s personal information by pretending to be someone else in order to steal their money, identity, or gain access to their computer. [3] Vishing scams are phishing scams done over the phone. Here are some of the latest phishing and vishing scams to look out for.

Netflix Scam

In an attempt to obtain payment information, this scam comes via email, sent by someone impersonating Netflix, claiming there was an issue processing payment for your account and that your account is now on hold. The email then asks you to update the payment method on your account by following a link. [3]

Social Security Administration (SSA) Scam

This scam is a phone call coming from the SSA’s phone number (1-800-772-1213), which plays a pre-recorded message saying your social security number has been suspended due to suspicious activity. The message then requests you to enter your social security number in order to remove the suspension. [4]

Bank Scam

If a scammer already has some pieces of your personal information but needs to obtain more, they may call impersonating your bank saying that a charge for “x” dollars was placed on your debit card ending in 1234 at retailer XYZ. When you question the activity, the caller says that in order to stop the fraudulent charge, you must verify your social security number and/or full debit card number. [5]

College Test Prep Scam

Someone claiming to be The College Board, the organization that runs the SAT and PSAT exams, may try to scam you over the phone by offering test prep material that your high school student “requested.” In order for the materials to be sent, you must purchase them over the phone by supplying a credit card number. [6]

To read up on other known scams or stay updated on new alerts, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website.


  1. Barkly. Must-Know Phishing Statistics 2018
  2. Weisbaum, Herb. NBC News. “It’s Not Just You – Americans Received 30 Billion Robocalls Last Year.”  January 17, 2018.
  3. Tressler, Colleen.  Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information. “Netflix Phishing Scam: Don’t Take the Bait.” December 26, 2018.
  4. Leach, Jennifer. Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information.  “This is What a Social Security Scam Sounds Like.” December 27, 2018.
  5. Lake, Lisa. Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information. “Speak Phishing Scammers Want More From You.” October 31, 2018.
  6. Lazarus, Ari. Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information. “College Test Prep Scams Are Happening.” October 23, 2018.

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