I answered the phone from an unrecognized number last summer that turned out to be the “FBI” informing me about a “pending investigation”. While I skeptically listened to the caller, my hand moved to end the call. I stopped when the caller started to mention things that no stranger should know. These things included my full name, where I live, where I work, where I study. My heart sank as I began to believe that I truly was being investigated by the FBI for tax fraud.
The friendly helper on the other line told me that I could make the whole investigation go away if I immediately pay the fine for my offense. Fortunately, two things happened that saved me and my money.
First, I didn’t have enough money in my checking account, requiring me to drive to the bank and send the money in person. Second, my husband had our car keys. I ran to my husband who happened to be working in the building next door.
I explained the situation to him and asked for the car keys to avoid going to jail. After listening to my story, he took the phone from my hand and calmly told the scammer to never call this number again or we would call the police.
What did I learn: I was reminded of my experience over the summer when my coworker came in Monday morning bearing news that her grandfather was scammed out of $31,000. Today, thousands of innocent people are scammed out of their savings. I was moments from becoming a victim myself. I’ve learned that scams are dangerous and should not be ignored. Recognizing scammers as they strike can save you and your family heartaches in the future.
We are all targets for these scammers. I plan on educating my family to protect themselves from this threat. Below is a video from ted.com that teaches you about scammers in a very entertaining way. I plan on sharing this video with my family to help bring awareness to scammers.
Have you had a close call with a scammer? What did you do about it?