Saturday, August 2, 2014
You've probably seen this commercial on television...and if you are like me, you thought, "That's terrible...I'm so glad it doesn't happen in MY community." Friends, I'm here to tell you...it does.
This almost happened to one of our family members this week, when someone phoned pretending to be a grandson who had supposedly "been in an accident" while traveling out of state. He needed $2000 wired immediately. There were a couple of "red flags"...the man did not sound like this person's grandson (although this was "excused" in part due to distress over the "accident" and the unnerving situation), and it was suggested that money be wired from a well-known "chain" grocery store, which does not do business in our community.
Thankfully, the person did not give out any vital information, such as a credit card number. Instead, a phone number was requested to call for confirmation when the money was wired, and the caller hung up. Then the relative called other relatives to confirm that this was indeed a scam... and that the grandson was safe and sound - and not traveling in another state!
So this is my warning to everyone...watch this commercial. Screen all calls and do not act in haste. Remind your senior loved ones...or better yet, watch this commercial with them and discuss it. I am sickened to think that people would prey on others in this manner...especially innocent, caring souls like our seniors. But they do...and we need to be awake and alert...and do all we can to thwart their efforts.
My husband read online that the #1 way that scammers get info is via social media...so I have redoubled efforts to tighten our accounts. I've "unfriended" people who aren't close friends or relatives. I've made the security about as tight as possible, and eliminated any info that is not 100% pertinent or necessary. It's the age we live in...and we had better cross our "t's" and dot our "i's" if we want to protect our assets...and our family members!