I’ve learned a lot about scams over time, and here’s a few calls to avoid the shit out of, because they just want all your money.
1. Free cruise to the Bahamas. Most people catch this one. It’s an automated call that says you’ve won, you’ve guessed it, a free cruise to the Bahamas. All you have to do is a short survey. It’s not legit, you did not win. Sorry. No Bahamas for you.
2. IRS, back taxes and legal threats. – This one is pretty scary. Someone will call you and say they are from the IRS. You have a warrant for your arrest because of xyz reason. If you tell them you are going to hang up, they will tell you they are calling the police to make good on the warrant. They are very pushy and it can be scary. It’s a scam. The IRS DOES NOT WORK THIS WAY. So please, don’t get sucked into it.
3. Nigerian prince / long lost relative. – These both work essentially the same way. They used to be a big email deal, and they are relatively no different now. X person has a huge sum of money that *surprise* is going to make it’s way to you, but… Those pesky service charges to transfer the money. You’re going to have to send them a *comparatively* small amount, generally within the low hundreds, but hey, since you’re getting all that cash, it’s cool, right? WRONG. These people mostly prey on the elderly, and there have been victims that take the bait, and they have wiped out their life savings trying to help someone they thought was in trouble, and of course, they never see a dime.
4. Government grants. – Are you struggling to pay your debt down? Are your bills overloading you? Well, luckily there are government grants that you can qualify for that will surprise, totally and completely screw you out of all of your money. This does not happen. There are not mass grants the government is paying out. It’s just a bunch of people being complete jerks.
5. Microsoft technical support. – We’ve received information from your computer telling us that it is full of viruses. We can help you get rid of those viruses and make your computer run fast again. We need to do this now, because the things that need to be done only we can do. It is not something a technician in a store can do. All you have to do is go to this website that will allow me to see your desktop and control your computer, and I will help you easily get rid of all the viruses. And very likely add additional viruses and or malware. We also have a technical support contract that you can enter and we will help you clean your computer every three months, it is very important that you do this. It only costs $300/year (or something like that) This. Is. Not. True. Nobody from Microsoft will ever call you and try to do technical support over the phone. It’s a way to get money from you, and it’s a way to install key loggers, which are what they sound like. They log the keys you press on your keyboard, in order, constantly, as a background process, making it very simple to invisibly lift your passwords, bank accounts, debit card numbers, etc. Please don’t fall for this.
6. Cardholder services. – There are no problems currently with your account, but it is urgent you contact us immediately concerning lowering your interest rate. Consider this your final notice, press one now to speak with a customer service representative about lowering your interest rate. Press one now. This is also a scam. Cardholder services has absolutely nothing to do with any credit card company, and they have a nice little scam going to very easily get your credit card information. Just hang up, do NOT press 1, just hang up.
All in all, I know that many people realize these are all scams, but there are far too many people that don’t. There are far too many people that lose their money to these things. So, please, share this with your family, especially your older family. I don’t care if anyone looks at anything else on my site (and if you’re on the elderly side, my posts can get graphic, you might not want to check out other ones sunshine.) I just want this information to get out to people so they know. Copy and paste it, print it out, share the article, and hopefully you can keep someone you know (or don’t) from getting scammed out of a lot of money.
Good luck, stay safe, be phone and internet savvy, learn about the bad guys, and have a wonderful, beautiful day sunshines.