OUR VIEW: Watch out for these well-known scams

Published 10:30 am Thursday, August 25, 2022

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Many years ago, it actually took a little bit of effort for someone to pull off a scam.

Typically, they either had to call you, request information that you should know to never get out over the phone, or make an unexpected stop at your door.

Those times are long gone in 2022.

Between robocalls for car warranties or a free vacation, it’s actually the norm to get calls daily from someone attempting to scam you.

And by someone, we mean a robot, which is hoping you’ll answer, then connects you to someone who is seemingly waiting by. Imagine what your success rate needs to be if you call 100,000 people a week.

The same goes for email. How many spam emails do you receive a day from someone claiming you won a lot of money or from a website that looks real but isn’t?

Social media has certainly made it a lot easier to pull one over on someone.

You often see people sharing social media posts from a well-known company, who is promising to give away something amazing to one lucky person.

We’ve personally seen it a lot with cruise ship companies. However, if you actually click and scroll on the page holding the giveaway, there are only a couple of posts, which should be an obvious red flag that they are fake and not the real page. A well-known company is going to have a social media account that posts daily — maybe hourly.

When the “drawing” ends, those pages usually name a random person and say the winner was unavailable for the dates selected, so they are doing another drawing.

And on and on it goes.

And then one day, that page disappears and becomes something else. It’s a quick way to get a lot of followers quickly, then promote something else.

On top of that, you never know who you are actually interacting with on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc. Our children could be talking to someone who says they are someone they’re not. The story of former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, which just came out on Netflix last week via documentary, comes to mind. It takes, what, all of five minutes to create a new Facebook account?

Do not be so gullible as to fall into one of these traps.

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If someone says they are giving out thousands of dollars on CashApp if you send them a direct message immediately, common sense should take over.

The same goes for reading news online, but we’ll visit that topic another day.

Use common sense. Don’t get scammed.