Monday, 16 September 2013

Current Scams To Watch Out For!!

After last week's post, when I alerted readers to the scam targeting Shopper's Drugmart customers, I decided this was an area that needed further discussion.

Right now there is a phone scam happening where someone will call and tell you there is something wrong with your computer and they have been authorized to fix it, all they need now is access. This happened to my friend (who doesn't even have a computer), but as soon as her husband identified himself as a member of Police Services, the caller hung up.

Another scam that recently happened to me was a message left on my cell phone telling me I had won a  $1,000.00 gift card from Walmart. That sent up a couple of red flags. First of all, I don't give my cell phone number out to anyone, so obviously this was a random, probably computerized, call; secondly, I had not entered a contest so I failed to see how I could win. I notified our local Walmart but they were already aware of this and confirmed that indeed it was a scam.

And then there was an email from my daughter-in-law with contents, including a link, that was so unlike her that I emailed her back asking if she really had sent it to me. Good thing I did check and hadn't just clicked on the link because I found out - by phone - that her email account had been hijacked and the email definitely hadn't come from her.

Those are just some of the problems I know about personally, so the scammers and hackers are out there, we just have to know what they're up to so we don't get caught.

One of the main points I've read about scamming is they want people to act NOW. You may hear statements like "This offer is good for this week only", "My manager has authorized me to offer you...., but you must act now" and more along that line. They know that if you take the time to think about the offer or, worse for them, take the time to check them out, they have no deal. Its therefore important never to act right away, but to wait a few days and do some research. If the offer is legit, it will most likely still be available.

I have found a terrific information booklet from the Competition Bureau Canada called "The Canadian Edition, THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF SCAMS, Your Guide to Protection Against Fraud".
The Table of Contents include:
1. Lotteries, Sweepstakes and Contests - 2. Pyramid Schemes - 3. Money Transfer Requests - 4. Internet Scams - 5. Mobile Phone Scams - 6. Health and Medical Scams - 7. Emergency Scams - 8. Dating and Romance Scams - 9. Charity Scams - 10. Job and Employment Scams - 11. Small Business Scams - 12. Service Scams - 13. Handy Hints to Protect Yourself - 14. Scams and You: What to do if you get scammed - 15. Getting Help and Reporting a Scam.
This booklet may be copied and reproduced without permission as long as accuracy is maintained. To download this booklet, just click on the link: THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF SCAMS.

I'm not connected to any social media sites so have no actual first-hand knowledge of the social media scams. From the research I've done I do know they are happening with increasing frequency and that everyone who has a Facebook, Twitter or other Social Media account should always be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary, paying particular attention to things like spelling or grammar errors.
A couple of links that cover this topic and which I found to be informative are:
and from Scambusters:

During my research, I discovered that:
1. Anyone can become a victim of scams or identity-theft;
2. No one should be embarrassed if they have been scammed;
3. It's important to report any fraudulent activity so that it can be stopped.

If you have been scammed or spot a scam, you can contact:
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre  or 1-888-495-8501
The Competition Bureau Information Centre  or 1-800-348-5358

"The Little Black Book of Scams" lists more places and numbers for reporting purposes.

We know we live in an age where scamming is a way of life for thousands of people so the more we know about current scams, the better we can protect ourselves. I hope the information presented here will help accomplish exactly that.
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I want this blog to be interesting, informative and current. Your comments let me know if I'm on track, so comments are greatly appreciated.
Thanks - Lenie