Hardly a week goes by without reports of some new scam designed to take money from good people.
Whether by email, social media, phone or in person, scammers seem to stay one step ahead in their quest to steal our money.
Often, these scams target the older generation. We aren’t sure why, but maybe it’s because they believe older people are more vulnerable or more trusting. The older generation grew up in a time where, as the old saying goes, “A man’s word is his bond.”
Now, the saying almost should be, “Trust no one.” It’s a shame it’s reached this point, but it’s a way to avoid a lot of heartache and lost money.
We can offer a little advice.
Government agencies like Social Security or the FBI, as well as financial institutions, aren’t going to call you or email you and issue threats if you don’t wire money, send cash or put money on gift cards immediately.
If you get a call or email from a relative or friend who claims to be in trouble and needs money immediately, don’t send anything. Hang up and call another relative or someone you trust to verify what you were told.
Never give any personal information, including Social Security number, bank account or credit card number to anyone who contacts you.
Any legitimate sweepstakes, lottery or prize contest like Publishers Clearing House will not contact you asking you to pay taxes or fees before you can receive your prize.
Hang up on callers you suspect are con artists. Don’t reply to emails that seem fishy.
And remember this bit of old-fashioned advice: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
We also would urge people to watch out for their friends and loved ones, especially the elderly.
If you suspect a scam, you can call the police, although it sometimes can be hard, if not impossible, to track down the bad guys, especially if they are in another country.
You also can contact the Florida Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit by calling 850-414-3300 or visit the Attorney General’s website at myfloridalegal.com and under the Contact US button, click on File a Complaint for further directions.
Don’t fall victim to the latest scam.
An editorial revised from the Enid [Oklahoma] News & Eagle.