Off the Beaten Path
Join me on an adventure. Where will we go today?
The scam that is blowing up my media starts innocently enough. Someone has lost a child, a parent, or a dog. They beg for help sharing the information. Please ‘bump’ it up to stay high on a community website. The Better Business Bureau has warned about this bait-and-switch tactic now being deployed. After a group of kind people has shared the post, the originator changes it to a fake ad for some non-existent rental house to get application fees or even rent, a link to a fake survey with a guaranteed prize, or any number of ways to get your personal information and cash. One way easy to tell amateur scammers is that they may put a silver alert on a child or an amber alert on an elderly person. The first thing I do when I see these is to check the originator. Suppose it is a page and not a profile, a scam. A grandparent will have pictures of their child over the years instead of just the one missing post. Please protect yourself! Block and delete at the minimum, and do NOT share it on your social media.
Companies like your insurance company, credit card company, and the social security administration will never threaten, scare, or pressure you to take immediate action by warning of an arrest or legal action. If someone calls you for a code on an account, they may have your username and try to log in with two-step verification or reset your password. Many people lost their social media accounts when someone was able to reset their password. Two-step verification is a pain, especially if you need help accessing your smart device to verify your account. However, I highly recommend it to protect all your accounts.
If someone does any of the following, it is a scam.
Protect yourself by staying calm and providing no information. Hang up! Refrain from responding. Report it to the company they are pretending to represent or directly to a Government agency such as Social Security Administration. It seems there is a new way to try to scam people every day. I received an email today with an invoice for a new iPhone that I ordered. They said the iPhone would be delivered tomorrow. I will not hold my breathe! I keep them in a folder in case I ever have to take legal action to protect myself.
#slamthescam is one way to share experiences and information about scammers. If we all protect each other, we may put these guys out of the scam business.