PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With an older population in this region, the FBI warned on Tuesday that Pittsburgh is more susceptible to scams than other parts of the country.
But, of course, all of us are potential victims if we fail to practice common sense when it comes to our money.
“Over 30,000 complaints were received last year alone with regards to pre-paid credit cards and gift cards. So this is obviously a major issue that the FBI is looking to pursue,” said Chad Yarbrough, FBI Assistant Agent in Charge.
The FBI said to watch out for requests for pre-paid gift cards and credit cards.
“So often we see criminals purport themselves to be charities, businesses, or even an employer of the victim and coax them into sending them gift cards through the mail, numbers of the back via email or by phone,” said Yarbrough.
The FBI also said to not fall prey to online websites offering deals too good to be true.
“Oftentimes, we see website pop up overnight and have reduced discounts on some of the more popular items for the year, whether it be electronics, gaming consoles, toys, whatever the case may be.”
Last year, 500 local victims lost $1 million through these scams.
Finally, the FBI said to watch out for social media pitches.
“There’s various ads that will pop up while you’re on social media and they will ask you to take surveys or provide personal information and oftentimes, those can lead to fraud,” said Yarbrough.
Asked about the latest scam with smart TVs, agent Yarbrough said, although not yet detected in Pittsburgh, scammers can use all kinds of apps to access your information without your knowledge.
The bottom line is to learn the privacy controls and stay alert.