Scams have been around since the beginning of time. Some may have a new twist, some are new because of technology but the overall consideration is someone isn’t getting what they were promised. There are phone scams, credit card scams, mortgage scams, and so on. The list is endless and will always be endless as long as there are unscrupulous people in the word.
What is the one thing we always teach our children when they are growing up? Never go anywhere with you don’t know. Just because they’ve lost their puppy doesn’t mean you have to go with them to look for it. The adult version is someone who is on a trip and needs money to get back home to their sick mother. I read about such a scam the other day where an elderly woman was scammed out of $6,000 to help a lady and her daughter get back to Africa where they had family members who needed them. It was a lot more elaborate than I’m stating here but that’s basically the gist of it and it’s no different than the child who goes off and helps a stranger find their missing puppy, never to be seen again. This woman never saw her $6,000 again and since she willing gave the money to the strangers it was a civil offense.
There are however, some very simple ways to stay away from being scammed.
- Never give or send money to someone you don’t know, have met on the internet or know very little about.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure you do your due diligence when investigating an organization.
- Beware of companies or charities with similar names. Be sure you have the correct name and contact before donating anything to anyone.
- Stay away from transactions where the US Postal Service is avoided.
- Be cautious of emails or other offers that you personally have not solicited.
- You could not have won something if you did not purchase or register to a Lottery or contest.
- Never pay before you receive an item unless you are purchasing from a legitimate entity.
- Get Rich Fast schemes do not work
- Never allow strangers into your home for any reason.
Call your local law enforcement agency to report any suspicious requests.
So I’ll give you my favorite quote from the 1980’s show Hill Street Blues, as Sgt. Phil Esterhause used to say, “Hey, lets be careful out there’.