“The [hacked] information is not directly financially related, but becomes a stepping stone to a financial motivator,” says Dewey.For example, scammers could exploit the VTech data breach, which compromised the profiles of 6.4 million kids around the world, to hack identities for years.By this time, your emotions are involved and you think, “Yes! Last year’s data hacks at extra-marital matchmaker Ashley Madison and toymaker VTech proved that scammers are after more than your credit card number.Instead, they glean personal information to build detailed profiles that can be used for sophisticated forms of identity theft that may not be immediately obvious.One of them—knowing how to spot a scam—is often ignored.The result is that many people are swindled out of their hard-earned savings every year.In 2016, that will no longer be true—and new scams will likely take advantage of this.“We expect to see a spike in scammers targeting overdue student loans, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae mortgage debt—things other than just taxes,” warns Dewey.
Scammers thwarted by the added protection of chip-embedded credit cards have a promising alternative: mobile wallets.(The colleague was reimbursed.) “It’s amazing how easy it was to add somebody else’s credit card info to my Apple Pay account,” Dewey recalls.Shopping links are provided by e Bay Commerce Network and Amazon, which makes it easy to find the right product from a variety of online retailers.Insolvency records and county court judgments will reveal unpaid debts, and mortality data will help expose identities stolen from the deceased.Address information will show details of where someone lives, has lived previously, and who with.While 2015 was a year of many familiar scams, 2016 promises new scams as thieves take advantage of election fever, technological trends, and an inadvertent helping hand from the government.