Rise of the Scams!
What is needed to complete a successful scam is finding a vulnerable victim then creating a sense of urgency.
There are so many forms of scams going around now days, it hard to list all of them and their variances. The scammers smart, they are getting personal by finding and using their victim’s first names and even their children/grandchildren’s names. Your name is easy to get, I will explain how they get your children’s names later. I have compiled a list of scams you generally might see or hear.
· “Don, your utility bill is delinquent and if it’s not paid in full we will shut off your utilities. Please provide us with your Credit Card number and we will get your utility turned back on.”
You say “Johnny?”
“Yeah it me Johnny, I’ve been arrested, I need $2,000 bond money so I can get out of jail!”
· “Grandpa Don? I’m stuck in Sochi, Russia and I lost my passport, the government says need $1700 for an emergency replacement passport in order for me to get home.”
· “Hello Mr. Don, your credit card had suspicious activity on it and was locked, please give us your social security number and credit card number in order to unlock your account.”
· “Don I purchased your cell phone on Craigslist, but there was an accounting mistake, we accidently added and extra (0) to the check. Please cash the check, keep what we owe you along with an extra $200 for any inconveniences, and then please mail the remaining back to me.”
All situations create a sense of urgency that make you feel as if you don’t act swiftly things will be terrible because of you. Most require immediate payment in electronic form, either giving your credit card number or purchasing a prepaid Visa card through the phone. Some request will be for you to wire money via; Western Union, or Money gram to a chosen remote location.
DON’T DO IT, Slow down, and relax.
· Verify information from your accounts. Tell them you will call them back right back after you call the credit card company. They don’t want this and you will never hear from them again.
· Call your daughter; ask her if little Johnny is in Russia or if there is a chance he might be in jail.
· You can make them hang up quickly if you were to call their bluff, ask what the families dog’s name was.
· DO NOT send large sums of money anywhere without first verifying information.
· If it sound too good to be true; it probably is. If you deposit a fraudulent check and withdraw the funds before it clears, you will be responsible for replacing all money back to the bank.
Spread this information to everyone, the next victim might be your Grandpa Don who doesn’t computer. If you are ever unsure or confused about a similar situation feel free call your friendly local St. Louis County Police Precinct and they would love to help you stay safe.