Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Reading the Fine Print


Sometimes it seems that "everyone" is trying to coerce you into wrong decisions, scam you out of money, fool you into thinking you have no alternatives… It is TIRING!


Most of us really don't have any major problems with comprehension, and many of us are just looking to be treated fairly, the same way we prefer to treat those around us. (Okay, I admit, some do look to get away with whatever they can, but not most.)


I get calls daily, sometimes more than once a day, telling me that "your car warranty has expired…" Heck, I haven't owned a car in at least eight years! And oh my goodness, heaven help us if we dare to click on a Facebook ad, we'll get put on every possible email list and then some… and too often if you try to make a purchase you either never see the product or it winds up that your charge card is used multiple times WITHOUT your approval.


I realize that there have always been scammers and con artists, but lately it seems to be everywhere you turn. Even sitting at your own computers in your own home is risky — did you ever get one of those authentic looking popups saying your computer is infected and just click here to clean? DON'T! And I can pretty much guarantee that no one in Nigeria is going to offer you millions if you give them your bank account number.


There are so many DON'Ts these days. DON'T push any buttons to remove yourself from a call list! DON'T store your credit card numbers on your computer! DON'T correct the info someone allegedly has and has to verify before sending you that "surprise"! DON'T dial back that phone number from the most recent nuisance call – you'll either negate that Do Not Call rule or you won't even reach the scammer and find they have spoofed some innocent's phone number. And definitely DON'T run to buy that gift card to send so that your phone doesn't get shut off or some such nonsense.


Aren't times tough enough without having to dodge every scam thrown your way? Most people are just trying to survive, pay their bills, stay healthy, and spend time with family. It is downright annoying when you receive an onslaught of email messages from your "favorite" social media site saying that they received "your" request to change your password, and you click each email with "No that wasn't me", and yet they keep on coming. And it is highly unlikely that your local State Police Department is selling you raffle tickets over the phone.


One very, very cruel hoax that is commonly pulled on the elderly is a phone call about a "grandchild" in trouble… car accident, jail, stranded in a strange country. The caller will pull as much information together as possible to totally frighten the loving grandparent and manages to con them into giving financial info over the phone. Meanwhile the grandchild is safe and unaware that dear old Grannie is now shaken to the core and totally ripped off of her savings. How can people be so heartless?


Another popular scam is when you go to sell something online. The potential buyer, usually long distance (allegedly) offers to mail you a check, and they do, but somehow they have included extra so that you can afford the shipping and then you will reimburse the excess. So in good faith you deposit the check, give it a day or so to "clear" and then send the overpayment by Western Union while you wait for delivery instructions. But then, lo and behold, the original check is pulled out of your account! But you are still out of the money you "refunded". Note that your bank will hold a check for so many days before it is permanently deposited in your bank account, find out how long.


Do yourself a favor and learn about Common Scams and ways to protect yourself from sites such as and It can be a cold cruel world out there, arm yourself with knowledge.


And by the way, the IRS is NOT going to call you on the phone about your overdue payment!


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