Autumn 2021 marks the next seasonal cycle for fraud and scams.

Let’s examine the current round of scams, how to recognize them, and how to act if you find yourself a victim.

Recent lead stories included Hurricane Ida, closing a chapter on Afghanistan, and COVID-19 surges. As always, the criminals see opportunity in the tragedies, anxieties, and sincere efforts of those facing the events of the day.

The current pandemic continues to serve as a staging ground for new scams. The two that have caught the attention of fraud watchers involve vaccine booster shots and “free” streaming services. Preying on the desire of many to be safe from COVID, criminals are working overtime to lure potential victims by promising availability to vaccine booster shots. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Pfizer vaccine booster shots will be available to at-risk individuals on September 20. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots are not currently scheduled for distribution. Anyone offering booster shots or oral medications in place of a vaccine is promoting a scam which should be reported to the CDC (cdc.gov or call 800-232-4636) or your state department of health.

Another COVID-related scam uses email or text messages. The message appears to originate from Netflix or Hulu and offers “free” streaming…

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