As you well know, there are many people trying to take advantage of you, and your family, and friends. We call these creeps, SCAMMERS, and their con games, SCAMS. These are the modern Dragons we must combat. Your greatest sword is your awareness, and your greatest weakness is your confidence.
First, your awareness. Know that there are people out there targeting YOU. These criminals (THESE ARE CRIMINALS!) are using every part of the technical landscape to get your stuff. And they are not just looking for your money. They target your personal information, your contacts, your habits and your money. They will use your age, your background, and your vulnerabilities. They will use anything that they can find about you, TO TARGET YOU. They will use the phone, email, social media, dating sites, clickbait, and poisoned websites. They will cultivate you as a friend, as a fish, and especially as a target.
Your confidence is their best friend. All of us (and I do mean ALL of us) are convinced that we are too smart to be taken in by a Con Man. Boy, do they love that! We will disregard the concerns of our friends, the good advice of the media, and even our own misgivings. I even have given advice to my customers, usually not diplomatically. The response that I hear is “Not Everyone is Evil” I acknowledge and champion the fact that that customer is absolutely right. Most people are honest and trustworthy.
But that brings us back to Awareness. It is not the real people in our lives we usually cannot see coming.
What can we do?
My mom gave me some advice back in the Dark Ages while I was still a teenager. This was before computers, cell phones, even voice mail or answering machines. Most fraud in those days were using the technology of the day. They used door to door scammers selling everything; ads in magazines, newspapers, and on bulletin boards; unrequested items, and pitches by mail; and of course, the telephone.
Her advice was simple and still apropos to today:
If You Did Not Originate The Contact,
Do Not Give ANY Information
To The Person Asking For It.
This includes answering the question of who is answering the phone. Your privacy and all that entails, are yours and vitally important. They should not be given out freely, and almost never willingly.
Of course, you may eventually be taken advantage, or at least believe in the possibility of same. There are steps you can and should take.
1. Notify your bank to look out for the fraud.
2. Close any breached accounts, and notify the appropriate companies.
3. Change any and ALL relevant passwords.
4. Ask for Help
5. Notify the Police, the Federal Trade Commision, the FBI, and the State Attorney General
How can you report scams?
Sorry about the links but each of these websites has information you can use:
1. Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department: https://charlottenc.gov/CMPD/Organization/Pages/InvestSvcs/Financial-Crimes.aspx’
2. North Carolina Attorney General: https://ncdoj.gov/protecting-consumers/#:~:text=Contact%20Us%20for%20Help,file%20a%20consumer%20complaint%20online.
3. North Carolina Department of Public Services: https://www.ncdps.gov/dps-services/safety-tips/fraud-and-scams
4. The Federal Government: https://www.usa.gov/stop-scams-frauds#:~:text=The%20Federal%20Trade%20Commission%20(FTC,%3A00%20PM%2C%20ET)
Of course you can still call me.
I can counsel you on the the steps you want to take personally. I can also review the security you have in place, scan your systems for intruders and weaknesses, and look out for the steps you need to take moving forward.
Holler If You Need Me!
& Tell Your Friends
or Just Send Them to our Website