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Smart Living: Beware of the new tech-savvy pickpocket

Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 4:00 PM CDT
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ORLANDO, FLA. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - The FTC received 2.8 million fraud reports last year. Americans lost $30 billion in phone scams, and $55 billion in identity fraud, imposter scams, and online shopping scams.

So how do you know what’s real and what’s not?

Shannon Fraser learned the hard way as she thought she was helping a young boy track down his parents.

“I was walking my dog and a little kid, I’d say 11, 12 years old pulls up on a scooter and was a little frantic and he’s like, ‘Can you help me?’ ” she recalls.

“He said,’ I just need to make a quick phone call.’ I could hear the person talking with him. She was giving him cross streets. Where are you? What street are you at? Trying to direct, he asked me if he could open maps. So, he actually opens maps,” Fraser says.

Without her seeing he also opened up Venmo.

“I received a notification from my bank that said your Venmo transaction of $1,800 has been approved right after that. It said your Venmo of $2,000 has been approved - $3,800 total,” Frasier recalls.

The Better Business Bureau says this isn’t the first time.

To protect yourself and your money, enable Face ID and pin, not just for your phone, but for the Venmo app itself.

Also, freeze your credit at Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. That way no one can open credit cards in your name. Also, be sure to use two-step authentication for all your smart devices and mobile apps and make sure you have unique and complex passwords for all your logins—and more importantly, stay alert.

“They’re not stealing your, you know, not stealing your wallet anymore. That’s not where your money is,” Fraser warns.

Shannon said Venmo credited her account everything that was taken she was able to get her money back, but you may not be so lucky. The bottom line: Never hand your phone over to a stranger.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.Copyright 2022 KPLC. All rights reserved.