People want your money – be vigilant

Scams abound. At the dinner table when the kids were younger, we discussed with our teens that people want your money. So, you have to be vigilant and guard against them. Some want it by legitimate means – advertising to get your money for services rendered or products bought. Some want it through aggressive marketing to accelerate such purchases and some want to steal or trick it from you. The scams are the trickster part of the equation.

I had a new scam attempted on me this week which I will call the Electric Utility Scam. This scam was quite well organized with a sincere woman saying I owed money to the electric utility and they were on their way to cut off my power. I could stop them if I called Accounts/ Billing and gave me the number. I called and they asked for my last four digits on my phone and I asked what address they showed, which they correctly offered. He said I owed $500 and I said that was not possible, as my last bill showed a lesser amount due and it was not the due date. He then gave me to a supervisor who wanted me to go on my bank account and do a quick pay. I then said I do not believe you are the utility company and hung up. I called the number on my account statement and they confirmed it was a scam.

I don’t know why I went along for so long. I was skeptical from the outset, but the sincerity and the multiple people involved showed how organized it was. Yet, it was a fraud attempt. Other scams have been tried on me, my wife and my relatives. Here are a few to let others know they are indeed fraud attempts.

Grandparents Scam – This one bothers me the most as the scam preys upon the elderly by saying a grandchild has been in an automobile accident and cannot reach his parents. When the grandparent asks which one, the grandparent offers the name, which the caller seizes upon. The scam is to wire a sum such as $2,700 to an account. Usually the numbers are high, but not extreme.

Amazon Scam – This one is the most active as we have had about a half-dozen calls. An order on the account did not go through and they want us to provide credit card info to pay an odd sum like $739.45 to process the order. The first time we asked each other if we are expecting anything at all or for that amount. Since the answer was no, it must have been a scam. When other calls came in for similar odd amounts, we knew for sure.

IRS Scam – This one is scary sounding saying there is legal action being taken against you for taxes owed, but this is a scam. The IRS will send you a letter, not call you. And, they will try to resolve issues without legal action, before they ever move down that path.

Microsoft Scam – This one is a phone call saying your system has been compromised. The first time I got this one, it sounded legitimate, but when I was booting up my computer the guy asked me if this was the computer I do my banking with? I hung up. Then I realized Microsoft will not be calling me.

Insurance Scam – This one was not an effort to steal, but to sell. My mother was told her certain insurance company account had been compromised. My mother did not have such an account. This was an unscrupulous marketer trying to sell her a Medicare Advantage plan, which she already had with another provider. So, I called to cancel and told the representative how this happened. We also had to change my mother’s banking information as a result.

Bank Scam – This one often shows up on our mobile phones which is annoying. Someone representing our bank or someone else’s bank will send a text warning of a compromise on our account. It is not the bank especially when we don’t even bank with the entity being used. It is a fraud. Banks do send texts at your request, but they appear more legitimate and are for helpful reasons you checked off on – activity, overdrafts, etc.

Please share your experiences below with these and other scams. These do not even count the ID theft attempts, actual compromised credit information at various stores or services or ransomware attempts. People want your money. Be vigilant, even more so than I have been.

26 thoughts on “People want your money – be vigilant

    • Thanks David. See my note to Erika. It seems like a business to defraud you. Maybe we should call it Spectre like in the early Bond films. Keith

  1. Oh yes, I’ve heard most of these, which is why I finally put a call blocker on my phone and the only calls that can get through are the 5 people on my contact list. I still get the occasional text message saying my “account” has been locked on either Amazon, my bank, or some other entity, sometimes a bank I don’t even use! But, I delete them and report them as scammers. I’m with David … if these people put as much effort into honest labour, they might just accomplish something useful.

      • As a matter of coincidence, I received a text message this evening from a Manuel somebody-or-other saying that he had won a huge powerball lottery and wanted to give $50,000 to 200 people, including myself. All I had to do was send him my bank info and he would drop that $50k right into my account! Yeah, right. But, I’m betting somebody fell for his spiel, and will find their account wiped out in the morning. Sigh.

  2. Note to Readers: I got a new version of the Bank Scam this afternoon. The text said multiple accounts were at risk, so they are being more aggressive.

  3. look at the amount of response you have Keith and that will show you you’re not alone. We have my FIL with the sweepstakes, the secret society club and he’s such a sucker and it’s sooo annoying.. so maddening. 💖

    • Cindy, thanks. My mother, when she was alive, had several attempts and it was maddening that people preyed on her. As her Alzheimer’s began to rear its ugly head, I asked my sister who lived with her, please don’t let mom answer the phone. Keith

      • Oh soooo maddening is right. Not having her answer the phone was a good idea.. My FIL at 95 is alert and for the life of me can’t get how he goes in for all of this. 🤫😡

      • Cindy, it may just be that he and my mother were raised to give more trust than many deserve. I don’t know. Keith

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.