Stay Vigilant as Scammers Enhance Their Skills
“Hell Grandma, I’ve been arrested, don’t tell my parents, but I need you to get gift cards for my bail money.” “This is the IRS and you owe money immediately or will be arrested.” “This is the Social Security Administration, you need to wire money right away.” “I am traveling and lost my passport and wallet and need to get home and need you to wire money immediately.” What’s the similarity? There is urgency. There is a quick need for money or there will be some sort of. There is often a “don’t tell anyone, keep this confidential” phrase. You are caught off guard. DO NOT REVEAL YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION (account numbers, social security, drivers license, credit card, other data) AND DO NOT WIRE, PURCHASE GIFT CARDS, OR OTHERWISE SEND MONEY. Yes, these scammers are good and can be very convincing - especially as emails or caller ids can be made to look like they are legitimate. Even very astute people have been taken. Be mindful of romance scams as well - where people claim to be in love with you (often from another country or at a great distance) and want you to send money for medical care, rent, or travel but always have an excuse as to why they can’t visit. As more information is available online, scammers can know a lot about you and your responses can inadvertently provide more detail. There is a great deal of power in just hanging up the phone or deleting the email.
This information Is provided for general educational information only and not as specific advice for any individual. Seek professional advice before taking any action in regard to your finances.