There are scams to get your personal details and there are scams to impersonate you. It’s nothing personal; they just want your I.D. and your money.
Two friends had their emails hacked last weekend. I got requests for help from the hackers. The requests didn’t use my name. I’ve seen the scam before. Both times I wrote back asking a personal question like any friend might. Instead of an answer I got the same plea.
The first friend caught on really early and changed their email that day. The second one took a day longer to find out and resolve it. The second said the scoundrels were from Nigeria.
Here is the scam:
The email asks if you have ever before used an agency, store, before. (Amazon, was our friend’s scam) Then it explains there is something they need to purchase for a niece or a friend; could you pay and the friend could pick it up or whatever and the friend would pay you back.
Peg has had phone calls, purportedly from Amazon, saying that she has had a new charge of $1100, or $700 (or whatever) on her account. The first few times, she called Amazon to make sure she wasn’t defrauded. By the time the third call came, she went on the Amazon website, checked her account and knew the call had been a fraud. There are ways to check if the call is legitimate.
We’ve had fake calls from “our” utility department or the IRS or, well, you name it. “You need to pay your utility bill within half an hour or your power will be turned off.” FRAUD. Your utility company would send you a letter to get payment. They won’t call to terrify you to pay over the phone by some schedule to someone you don’t know. If some legal entity really needs your prompt payment, generally, you get a letter in the mail. But beware: there are many people in line waiting to scam you, steal your identity and take your money.
The ones I always laugh at are the business scams. The thieves check on your website address and then send you a bill for the domain renewal. Most people don’t remember when their domain name is up for renewal, so it’s an easy scam. Not only do they want to vastly over-charge you, but they suggest that you pay upfront for the next five years. What’s almost as bad are the companies that actually control the domain name. We’ve helped clients overcome the difficulty in changing their domain name or host, but sometimes it takes being on the phone for hours to get approval for change. Sometimes they approve the changes over the phone, but not really. So, you’re left spending more hours on the phone. They just want to break down your resistance so you’ll give up.
Current 2021 Top 10 List of Scams and Frauds – consumerfraudreporting.org/current_top_10_scam_list.php
Just today I received these two emails:
1 – “I am Abdul Beykzadeh son of late Mr. Saeed Beykzadeh who died of kidney disease in America. I have a business proposal of great benefit to both of us. I will like you to get back to me if you are interested for full details.”
2 – Another scam a caller says, “Your XXXXXX (credit card, for instance) account has been temporarily restricted.” If you respond to the Phishing extortion, you will regret it. The email looks exactly like it really came from XXXXXX, but the link will take you elsewhere.
You have to beware of almost every single request that comes via phone or the internet. There are evil people out there who want your money; there are people out there who need money to buy food for their families and are just desperate enough to try to take your money; and there are politicians who want you to donate your money to whatever campaign they happen to come up with. Please, just be aware and be careful. You don’t need to respond to threats and you can check your accounts yourself to determine the truth.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.