Coronavirus

As stated, I am going to give you some additional information regarding the scam artists that are plaguing our Senior population here in America. Quite a few of these scams come from India, so unfortunately, one major indication that you might be talking to a scammer is a heavy Indian accent. It’s not fair that an entire country is distrusted because of the way they talk, but what’s true is true. The vast majority of the scams are from India.  

One of the ways you can tell if you’re talking to a con artist, is when in the middle of your conversation – SHOULD YOU GET THAT FAR – they ask you to either go to a store and purchase “gift cards” or “charge cards” of some sort, and they will boldly tell you “not to tell anyone what you’re doing.” They try to put pressure on folks by telling them that the bank or WalMart or whoever you’re purchasing from will try to “take a portion of the proceeds.” If you hear this during a conversation, simply hang up the phone.  Please, hang up the phone. It’s a scam!  

If you get a phone call from a stranger and they say that they want to help you “protect yourself and your family” with CV19 supplies, it’s probably a scam. If they ask you to purchase… oh, say a box of gloves and they will send you a box of free hand sanitizer. all you have to do is “verify” your Social Security number, IT’S A SCAM. No legitimate business is going to give you a free box of anything right now. And… NEVER give your Social Security Number to a stranger on the phone.

If you receive a phone call from a so-called “health agency,” and you were not expecting the call, it’s probably a scam. They might tell you that you have tested positive and they need your credit card number for a prescription, that is definitely a scam. HANG UP THE PHONE.  

There are so many fake websites, it’s hard to tell the real thing anymore. They actually look totally legitimate, but keep in mind, DO NOT click on any links within the website. That’s where they get you. They actually redirect your ‘visit’ to their websites, which again look real. If the price of something is much less than ‘normal’ and you’re tempted to purchase, DON’T DO IT. They will have your credit card number, and your address (supposedly for delivery purposes). If possible, just don’t shop on the computer unless you (A) generate the call yourself, and (B) it’s a well-known site and you’ve shopped there before, perhaps Amazon, E-Bay or Etsy.

If you see a sign on the side of the road that says “Free Coronavirus 19 Testing,” beware. I haven’t heard of any of these scams here in California, but scammers have set up fake testing sites with people in lab coats and nose swabs and they are gathering personal information so that they can “get back to you if you test positive.” Of course, they get your name, address, and phone number – maybe even your credit card number. How sad that human scum is doing this.

As I reported in my last column, Google says that scams are up by 350 percent. That’s a lot! Don’t let them get you. It’s easy to hang up the phone. I love to hear from you at: EmmaD@Volcano.net