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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.

“The [hacked] information is not directly financially related, but becomes a stepping stone to a financial motivator,” says Dewey.

Most scam victims never get the satisfaction of learning who their scammers really were.

Once the money is gone, there is no need for the scammers to maintain the relationship and they simply disappear.

There are many ways to make sure that your finances are in good health, as the new year gets underway.

One of them—knowing how to spot a scam—is often ignored.

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.

Because kids have no credit history and their parents generally don’t check their credit reports regularly, the theft might not be noticed until the kids grow up and apply for a credit card or financial aid for college.

In 2016, that will no longer be true—and new scams will likely take advantage of this.To help you become more knowledgeable about these new scams, we asked David Dewey, director of research at Pindrop Security, a firm that provides anti-fraud detection technology for call centers and phone users, to tell us about the latest trends in identity theft and phone fraud.Here’s what you need to watch out for in 2015 was the year of the IRS scam: Scammers impersonating the IRS and intimidating consumers into paying penalties for “back taxes” accounted for nearly a quarter of all scams reported to the Better Business Bureau. Buried in the Congressional budget bill was a provision allowing debt collectors to use robocall technology to pursue anyone owing government debt—think overdue student loans and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae mortgages.Within minutes, Dewey had strolled over to Whole Foods and bought lunch for the office—paid for by his unwitting colleague.(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.