New scam says you have money to collect; don't believe it!


In recent months, a new scam has been spreading rapidly via text messages, emails and even phone calls. The tempting promise is simple: "You have money to collect!". This message attracts many people, especially in times of economic uncertainty, but unfortunately, it is nothing more than a scam designed to fool unsuspecting victims.

How the scam works

The scam takes advantage of people's curiosity and hope of receiving an unexpected sum of money. The messages usually claim that the person is entitled to a refund, an unclaimed prize, or an unclaimed inheritance from a distant relative. In some cases, the scammers even mention supposed compensation from governments or international organizations.

To validate the supposed claim, the scammers ask for personal information, such as social security numbers, bank details or even payment of administrative fees. They then use this information to commit financial fraud, identity theft or simply disappear after obtaining a payment.

Warning signs

Identifying this type of scam can prevent major financial and emotional problems. Some common signs include:

  • Pressure to act quicklyScammers often create a sense of urgency, asking the victim to respond immediately or provide sensitive information without time to think.
  • Unrealistic promisesThe message may contain promises of easy money, substantial prizes or unclaimed inheritances that seem too good to be true.
  • Requesting sensitive personal informationAsking for data such as CPF numbers, bank details or copies of documents is a great sign of a scam.
  • Grammar and spelling mistakesMany scam messages are poorly written, with grammatical or spelling errors that reveal their fraudulent origin.

What to do if you receive one of these messages

If you receive a suspicious message saying that you have money to collect:

  • Don't answer: Ignoring the message is the safest course of action. Do not provide any personal or financial information.
  • Check the sourceIf the message mentions a specific organization, check directly with the supposed source through an official channel, such as the official website or a legitimate telephone number.
  • Report itReport the attempted scam to the relevant authorities, such as the Civil Police, Procon or even through platforms such as the Internal Revenue Service's reporting channel.
  • Stay informed: Share information about scams with friends and family so that everyone is alert and protected.

Protecting yourself from online scams

As well as keeping an eye out for suspicious messages, there are other measures you can take to protect yourself from online scams:

  • Keep your devices up to date: Regularly update your operating system, antivirus programs and applications to mitigate vulnerabilities.
  • Use strong passwordsUse complex and unique passwords for each online account and change them regularly.
  • Check your accounts regularly: Monitor your bank and credit card accounts to identify suspicious activity as quickly as possible.
  • Educate yourselfStay informed about the most common types of scams and how to recognize them.

Protect your personal information

Receiving a message saying you have money to receive can be exciting, but it's crucial to check its veracity before taking action. Scammers are constantly evolving their tactics to take advantage of people's good faith. 

Stay vigilant, protect your personal information and help spread awareness about these scams. Prevention is the best defense against online fraud.

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July 8th, 2024