Sunday, October 23, 2011
With the increase of technology/sharing of information is is even easier to SCAM someone. No matter how smart you think you are, there may be weaknesses that even you may fall for on your best day.
Yes, even I was approached by someone that wanted to buy my house. For someone to contact me via email about this was unheard of in the real world in 2007 (that was my first hint).
Criminals can gather all kinds of information and details - photos, addresses, names of family members, names and addresses of neighbors (past and present), current location of relatives, and more - via the internet.
They may say that they are a family member, even sound like them, or send photos of actual family members. Be sure to verify as many details as possible, and verify with others(if possible) before making a quick decision.
In these situations - you are the weakest link. Questions are your weapons. Get all the details you can - and write them down. Get the number to call them back - or have them hold for however long you need, review the details, discuss with others, then make a decision.
Don't panic. Don't act quickly - unless you can confirm that you know the person. One of the best things you can do in any situation is ask questions. Dont be afraid to look dumb, in fact - that may be one of the best things to think about. Maybe even pretend to be hard of hearing. Ask the most basic questions - Can you repeat that please? Can you spell that for me? What is the address? Who am I speaking to again? Can you spell your name?
Always ask questions. Get more information. The more information you have will help determine whether or not the information being presented may be false.
There is no protection when using Western Union, you have to protect yourself.
Research the internet for similar scams or be aware of the various scams: http://fraudwatchers.org
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>> Understanding Payment/Package Processing Scams
>> Fake Lottery winning, AFF 4-1-9
>> Good general info on a range of scams