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Going Through the Experience of Being Scammed

By Ann Richardson April 09, 2023 Lifestyle

Yikes! You feel foolish. You think you are so experienced, you will never be caught out by a scam. And then you are.

Nothing to be done but get to work. Change your passwords. Change your credit card. Whatever the scam, you just have to be ready to stop everything and get everything fixed. Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200. Just get it done.

Scams

There are so many scams these days.

I regularly get telephone calls from ‘my bank’ (never named) telling me that there have been some irregular purchases from my account, usually adding up to more than $1,000. I had one this morning. I just hang up. It isn’t even a real person.

They used to phone saying they were from the ‘technical department’ (of what company was never mentioned) and there was a problem with my computer’s internet connection. I never fell for that one either.

Then, just two days ago, I had an email from the DVLA (the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency), which issues drivers’ licences in the UK. It told me that it was time to renew my licence.

It was really good. It had a logo on it which looked genuine. And photos. It was written in excellent English of the kind such notices are normally written in. It offered information in Braille if I needed it. And, most clever of all, it provided a link to press if you were worried that it was a scam.

But I always press the arrow next to the email address to see the underlying address – and it came from Japan. That is definitely NOT the UK Government department for issuing drivers’ licences!

Bingo!

But today, I had an email telling me that it was time to renew my Amazon Prime account. Again, it looked genuine. It seemed to come from the US ­– not Russia, Japan or the other places they often come from.

I took my eye off the ball and pressed the button to ‘renew’. They wanted to check my details, so I gave them my name, address, phone number and mother’s maiden name. Even asked for my Amazon password. Then, they wanted my credit card details and yes, I gave them all that, too.

And then, after all that was done, I said to myself, I wonder if that is a scam?

Too late. Oh, dear.

I phoned the card company and cancelled my card. I contacted Amazon and changed my password.

And then I sat there feeling very irritated – and very stupid, indeed.

We’re All Vulnerable

How could I have let that happen to me, I thought. I am cautious, I am careful. I don’t do silly things like that.

But none of us is immune, I fear. It’s just hubris to think otherwise.

Dealing with all this is a terrible waste of time. I had wanted to get out of the house quickly, but I had to have the patience required to deal with two busy companies, slowly and surely.

And it is very scary. It takes time to calm down. And makes you doubt yourself. Not a good thing at this time of life.

SO DO BE CAREFUL.

Think twice before you respond to these dreadful people – and their increasingly clever scams. Ask someone else to check it before you reply or press any link. Finally, it’s a great idea to use the company’s public and reliable channels to ask them if they sent you the email or other message.

Believe me, I know.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Have you ever been caught out by a scam? What happened? What advice do you have for others?

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Yolanda

I been scammer to many time and that thing is that went they get you one time you’re on the list and they make money with you they sale you’re information in to the black market all the time.this If going on for fourth year’s
and they follow you every where that you go in that internet and if they have your phone number they follow you every where you driving including your home address and also get all their information you have in your phone and that phone number all your friends and family’s I been going’s to hell for fourth years and till going on . For one mistake you pay for the rest of you life
with the scammers and no one can help you and they know.

Linda Collins

Never google a phone number for a company that you are having an issue with on their web site while shopping and checking out; always get help from within the website. I narrowly avoided being scammed after googling a phone number for Amazon as I was having trouble checking out after shopping. Since I was the one who made the call, being scammed was the farthest thing on my mind. I realized something wasn’t right when I was asked to download a VNC (Virtual Network Computing) app that would allow the other party to see everything on my desktop. I immediately ended the call. I did cancel my credit card and changed passwords. The take away here is to never google a phone number for a company to address an issue with their we site; use the help option from within the company’s official web site.

Shelly

Just recently my credit card was scammed, I get an email each time my credit card is charged. I immediately contacted my credit card company who opened a fraud investigation, canceled and reissued a new card and removed the charges. They also told me no matter how careful you are this happens.
But what a feeling of being violated!

Kim

Senior citizens unfortunately are the target most often because we are more trusting. We grew up in an era that was very different and more innocent.

Kim

I’ve never been scammer but many have tried. These people are very clever and often persistent. No company will ask for your password, NEVER click on a link in an e mail, never give out personal info over phone unless you called them, if you get an e mail re problem with account, go to the companies site via search engine. I have put a freeze on all 3 credit reporting agencies in an effort to be proactive. ALL of your personal info is readily available online to anyone. Sad to say but Trust No One.

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The Author

Ann Richardson’s most popular book, The Granny Who Stands on Her Head, offers a series of reflections on growing older. Subscribe to her free Substack newsletter, where she writes fortnightly on any subject that captures her imagination. Ann lives in London, England with her husband of nearly sixty years. Please visit her website for information on all her books: http://annrichardson.co.uk.

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