March 23, 2024

Scams have long been a problem, but thanks to a recent change in government rules, it may now be even harder to spot them.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in November began allowing debt collection agencies to contact you through social media. They won’t be able to publicly post on Facebook walls or in Instagram comments, but they can now slide into your direct messages to contact you.

Many experts say this change makes it easier for scammers to target people through social media, posing as debt collectors.

The News & Observer talked to North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein about how consumers can protect themselves from scammers posing as debt collection agencies, and as fraudulent organizations and fake charities.

We also pulled information from other organizations that offer tips on spotting scams.

Stein shared this advice to avoid getting scammed.

1. Be wary when shopping online: The DOJ is seeing a number of complaints about fraudulent items for sale, Stein said. “People thought they were purchasing something, only to find out that the scammer had put up a simple photo of a product that they never had. Then they sold it at a very desirable price because they never intended to fulfill the order.”

2. Beware of “porch poachers”: Criminals will come to front doors and steal delivered…

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