You can never be too cautious when it comes to the well-being of those around you, whether they are family, friends, co-workers, or acquaintances. You always hope you are surrounding yourself with people you can trust with your life, but again, you can never be too cautious.
And then there are the ones who are out to scam you…
I re-shared something on Facebook (today, ironically) that I had posted two years ago (April 8, 2014) about one of those scam numbers that was trying to collect my hospital co-pay from my surgery (the number called right after my check cleared), claiming I hadn’t paid it (and it was actually paid before the deadline).
Well, one of these phone calls happened again.
Folks, I can’t stress this enough, and yes, you may see this in other places, but just heed the warning:
This morning, I got a phone call from a 202 number (Washington DC), and it was a robo call leaving a message claiming they were “IRS,” (not THE IRS, but just “IRS”), and they were informing me of “Final Notice” (where was the first notice?) and that a lawsuit was pending against me. Oh yes, my taxpaying butt is being threatened by a robo caller. I did look up the number, and yes, it is a scammer – this has happened to quite a few people, who have called back. One person said they had the same message, someone else said that the message claimed the person won a $9000 reward…and someone else said it told them they owed $9000.
I’m not one of those people who just answers wrong number calls, nor will I engage one by calling back. My theory is simple – if what you have to tell me is important, you’ll leave a voicemail for me. If I know who you are, I’ll be happy to call you back. If not, I won’t. If I feel particularly bad because someone leaves a message thinking I’m their family member…I’ll investigate the number. And if you’re number come up as “unknown,” “restricted,” or “unavailable,” you don’t deserve a minute of my time, unless I know you and that’s how your number will come up. But if I know you, then it likely means I have your phone number already.
Sounds reasonable and all, right?
Scams exist because there are dishonest people looking to take advantage of someone who may not have the wherewithal to react appropriately. They want to scam us, the honest and hard-working of the world, out of our money or harass us until we cave in. But we can’t, that’s letting them win. And it’s wrong. It’s all so wrong.
So, check email addresses, check phone numbers, and do a little research (or have someone do it for you). Be savvy about your personal well-being, and that of the people in your life.
If you get nothing else from anything I write, take this little nugget away with you. Apply it to your life. I’d rather by cynical and overly protective of myself and my life than open and happy to share with the world.
And if you really would like to know the number, I’d be happy to tell you.
Have a great rest of the day.