So Many Scams Out There

I am pretty sure just about everyone out there has gotten that phone call, or that email. Where someone is trying to scam you out of anything and everything. I know I have — so many scams out in the world today. And with the internet, it’s just opened the door to so many scam artists.

I remember when our middle daughter was a freshman in college. She called my husband, crying and sobbing, saying she was going to get arrested if she didn’t pay the IRS. They told her that there was a warrant out for her arrest for X amount of money. But if she paid them 70%, it would void the warranty. She even got a tax check that year, and now she owed the government? But to a college student, they’d do just about anything to keep from going to jail, or letting their parent(s) find out. Thank goodness she called one of us!!

So Many Scams Out There, online scams, email scams

I’ve had the same call myself, and sadly, more times than I can count.

It’s gotten to the point if a person isn’t programmed into my phone, or I don’t recognize the phone number, I’m not answering.

The automated phone calls telling me how important this call is—IF it is THAT important, then why isn’t a human being calling me??

It absolutely drives me nuts. And they’re usually trying to sell me insurance for my business. Or some security monitoring for my new business. Really??

A gal that was in the same stretch class as myself told the teacher and me that once you answer your phone, everybody will start calling you. Whether that is true or not, I don’t know—but I would not doubt it!!

Scams are always changing, especially around the holidays.

If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to never give anyone your credit/debit card number over the phone. Or the Internet.  Emails.

I have had a PayPal account for the last 12 years, and it’s how I do most of my transactions online.  Sign up is free, with no hidden charges.

My intent in writing this article is NOT to scare you. But to INFORM you of what to look for. REMEMBER knowledge is power!!


Cyber Crime

If, for any reason, you believe your identity has been stolen, first–freeze or close all of your accounts.

CALL: 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338)

I keep tabs on our bank accounts daily through an app, from my bank, that I have on my phone. More then once, I spotted debts on our bank account that we did not make ourselves, I instantly contact my bank or 1 800 number, and it has been cleared up.

Just this past Spring, we’re driving down to Florida. We’ve been in the car for 9 hours, and I decide to work on our bills and open up my banking app. There it was, a $54.18 debit from Best Buy. I asked my husband if he had gotten anything from Best Buy, which he tells me no. Then I look at this transaction closer, and it was made at Best Buy in Duluth, Minnesota. The purchase was made using my debit card number, so I promptly cancel that card. Banks are good at that.

We’ve also had it happen once before, years ago–with a more substantial sum of money taken. But they froze our account, refunded us the money, then had us come in and close that account out and open a new one.

My intent in writing this article is NOT to scare you. But to INFORM you of what to look for. REMEMBER knowledge is power!!


Email Scams

So Many Scams Out There, The Senior Life, 50 and Beyond, 50 and over, senior cirizens, elderlyThere are many ‘phishing’ scams out there. What is phishing? It is when an email is sent, to your email account that is fraudulent. They appear to be reputable companies and. Or people, and are usually trying to get your personal information. Such as login information, passwords, credit card numbers, or debit card numbers.

A lot of these scam artists can appear extremely legitimate. They use scare tactics to convince you to comply with their wishes. Some may include a link/links that can take you to a fake account.  Check for grammar.  That is usually a good indicator that it isn’t a legit email.

For example, I have received a PayPal scam in the past. The link took me to a page that looked exactly like the PayPal login page. The only emails I had ever receive from PayPal is after I purchased something online, and a monthly statement of my transactions. I’ve been with PayPal for 12 years now. Luckily I closed out my email and my browser, rebooted my laptop, and then went to PayPal from a bookmark that I had in my browser. And like I had suspected, it wasn’t a legit email.

NEVER click on links that ask for your personal information. NEVER download attachments from people you do not know. Be leary of attachments from acquaintances; their accounts can get attacked, which then attacks everyone in their email address book.

And delete any emails that appear suspicious. If a long-lost relative representative is asking for your bank account number, because they left you with a sizable inheritance, do not do it. I would think if it is that sizable, they would want to meet with me to make sure I am who I say I am. Right?

I have even had a debt collector scams. They will offer me a third off of my total balance if I pay it off now. Oh, it gets better; they want me to go to Target or Walmart and get gift cards in $40 increments. Really? How many of you have ever paid any debt or bill that way??  I know I haven’t!!

Also, beware of pharming. Pharming is when a harmful code is installed on your personal computer, that then leads you to a fake website, without your consent or knowledge — accessing all your personal information.

Just be aware! If any email appears ‘fishy,’ delete it!!

My intent in writing this article is NOT to scare you. But to INFORM you of what to look for. REMEMBER knowledge is power!!


Texts/SMS

Cell phone users should be wary of unsolicited text messages. This kind of scam is known as Smishing–SMS & phishing. These types of text messages usually urge you to call a number provided. Or sometimes to click on a link. Which then can collect your account information, and/or pin numbers, etc. DO NOT call or click on the link!!

Be suspicious of these kinds of unsolicited text messages. Delete all their messages of any kind. What I began doing is blocking their number from my phone. You can usually block phone numbers in your cell phone settings, or in the messaging app itself

My intent in writing this article is NOT to scare you. But to INFORM you of what to look for. REMEMBER knowledge is power!!


Protect Yourself

As long as you are aware and you protect yourself, you will be fine. It’s those that do not know, that usually fall prey. Don’t fall prey to scammers online. They do exist. They target everyone! And there are those out there that target those of us specifically 50 and beyond. Protect yourself and/or a loved one.  

Virus Protection!! First and foremost, be sure to have virus protection for your PC or laptop!!!  And, make sure it is up to date!  That is the first step.  Believe it or not, some scams can be stopped with a good virus protection program. I use webroot, have for several years.

I’m sharing links with you that goes further in the explanations, in protecting yourself from scams. Remember, knowledge is power. Let’s become powerful!!!

AND, please, share with us any scams that you are aware of, in the comments below. We need to look out for one another. 😉

My intent in writing this article is NOT to scare you. But to INFORM you of what to look for. REMEMBER knowledge is power!!




As I’m getting older, I feel like maybe I need to grow up a bit. –Vanessa Kirby

 

2 thoughts on “So Many Scams Out There”

  1. Thanks for the heads up! I recently got a text message from ‘PayPal’ that said a payment of 30 pounds had just gone out of my account. It freaked me out, until I remembered that I didn’t have a PayPal account! So glad I didn’t follow the link provided. Is there any way of blocking your OWN phone number from scammers?

    Reply
    • Oh my, that is funny! But the theft wouldn’t have been, of course. Yes, never click on links you are unsure of.

      I found a few apps that may help with that. Here’s the link: The 3 Best Apps for Blocking Spam Phone Calls I don’t know how well these work though, cause I use an app from my cell phone provider. Perhaps you could check your cell phone providers website.

      If you choose to try on of those 3 apps, I would love for you to come back and let me know how it works. It would help out my readers in protecting themselves from spammers.

      And thank you for stopping by,
      Laura

      Reply

Leave a Reply to Laura Cancel reply