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Jill Stone

Your Meeting Matchmaker Fairy Godmother

Scary Scams

in: Technology

Scammers are getting better at their game. Be aware of what is going on out there and what you should do about it!

  • Text sent to the wrong person: People are receiving texts that look as if they are a wrong number. Perhaps the text is about hiring you to photograph their wedding or it looks like they were hired to do some yard work and cannot find your address. The helpful part of us wants to let the person on the other know that they have the wrong number, but DO NOT TEXT BACK. Scammers are looking to see if it’s an active number or if answered will try to get additional information by asking for your name, address, etc. Simply delete the text and move on.
  • A text warning that payment has not been received or an account has been compromised: Beware and delete! If there is a question to the validity of such a claim, contact the company, platform or bank directly.
  • Fake Reviews and Recommendations on Facebook: Since Facebook administrators cannot take down reviews and recommendations, scammers have come to use them to talk up some crazy service; usually about scoring an amazing loan or finding perfect love. These claims tend to include a WhatsApp number to contact. Don’t fall prey to these. If the claim is made on a Facebook page in your control, report it to Facebook. Look for the 3 dots at the top and choose Report Post.
  • Facebook Cloning: Sometimes a friend request may come through from someone that is already a friend. A quick search on Facebook will more than likely bring up two accounts for that person. This means that someone has “cloned” their account and is acting as them in hopes of finding friends to scam. Go to the person’s fake account, look for those 3 dots and report the account as impersonating another.
  • Romance scams: Single people, especially those that are successful, are many times a target. A nice-looking person reaches out to become a friend or connection, then want to strike up a conversation once accepted. Usually the conversation will start with something like “Hi beautiful” or “I came across your profile and was struck by your beauty” or “I rarely do this, but I was so drawn in by you . . . blah, blah blah.” Remove the connection, this is not real romance.
  • Phone calls outside of contact list: If a call comes from someone not known to you, no reason to answer. If it is a for real inquiry, they will leave a message.
  • Change-your-life emails: The emails promising to bring qualified business leads that have millions to spend, or change your life in some significant way are questionable, especially when coming from a Gmail address like joesgreatmarketing@, findromancenow@ or loseweightovernight@ – do not bother with such shenanigans, is not a real deal.
  • Resources: 
    • Check out AARP for the latest scams targeting seniors.
    • Experian shared some great information about current scams and sensible advice.
    • The Federal Trade Commission also shares information on avoiding and reporting scams.

Finally, check in with your gut. If your gut feeling is that something is off, then something is probably off. Scammers are looking for desperate people and/or are counting on people to believe that which is too good to be true, or appeal to their big helpful heart. Stay safe and don’t fall for their games.

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