Friday, September 28, 2012

I am the luckiest woman alive!

Just kidding! While I am blessed with a loving husband and two wonderful children, that is not what I'm posting about today. 

In the last 12 hours, I have been targeted for 2 separate scams. One was via email, the other was by phone. I want to share them with you, so that you are a little more aware of these scams. I'm also going to share some common sense tips to avoid falling victim to these scams.

This appeared in my email this afternoon:

I was immediately tipped off that it was a scam due to a small discrepancy. In the text, it states 2 different iPads. Secondly, I had to go to an outside site to "claim" my gift. Third, the subject was simply a "." Thanks, but no thanks. This scam is more to get you to waste your time by filling out surveys and offers, and you could potentially be signing up for expensive text messaging on your cell phone, but don't bother. You will not receive an iPad. It has also been in the form of an Apple/Facebook partnership, as well as Craigslist/Apple. Do not give out any personal information online. article on this scam:

The second scam is known as the Loyal Citizens Grant. This afternoon, I received a call on my cell phone. The number that appeared on my caller ID was 202-000-9966. Normally, I do not answer calls from numbers I do not know, but we have been dealing with an insurance claim lately, so I've been answering every call. A gentleman with a nice, thick British accent stated he was from the US Dept of Treasury, and I was one of 1500 people selected to receive an $8400 grant that I would not have to pay back. He went on to explain that I was eligible for this grant for paying my taxes, paying my bills on time, and having no criminal record. All I had to do to receive the grant was to give his colleague my bank account information. The whole process would take a mere 45 minutes, and I would have to pay a one time processing fee. At this point, I lied to him and said I was driving and asked if he could call me back in an hour. Why did I lie? To buy  myself some time to get to a computer and research this scam.

There are also several forms of this scam, the amount varies, but the scammers always take your bank account information, and steal your money. Never give out personal information over the phone. Never. Also, you should NEVER pay for a grant. Just.don' article on this scam:

I know scams are nothing new. They have been around almost as long as mankind. How do you stay safe? Follow some basic common sense tips:

  • Never give out personal information over the phone, especially if you did not initiate the phone call. 
  • Keep banking information private.
  • Shred all documents before throwing them out, or get a black out pen and mark out all identifying information. This includes names, birthdates, ssn, addresses, phone numbers, card numbers, etc. 
  • Register your phone numbers at the National Do Not Call registry
  • Report any scams to the FTC
  • Use common sense. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you did not apply for a grant, you will not receive one. 
So, I may not be the luckiest person in the world. In fact, if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck. But, I hope my experiences and research today will help save a few people from falling victim to these scams. 

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