ANYONE Can Be Targeted. Research is Key

Pixabay Creative Commons Image

Pixabay Creative Commons Image

We've heard it time and time again. But it bears repeating: "Always do your research!" Always do your research! When you get mailings from companies urging you to pay money “or else,” or receive checks offering ‘free’ money, always PAUSE before proceeding. While some might think, this seems obvious, those who target consumers in this way appeal to the desperation and vulnerability of those they are targeting. Scammers can be very effective with the wording they include in their mailings. Fear and/or greed can be huge motivators, and can cause us to throw logic right out the window. Don’t let words like ‘law’ ‘legal’ ‘fine’ ‘government’ or ‘free,’ scare or entice you into sending money to scammers.

For example, one of my clients received a check ‘offering’ financial assistance. The check was for a few thousand dollars and required a small ‘processing fee’ from her. The client was heavily in debt and experiencing financial difficulties. I advised the client not to deposit the check, and suggested that the client look up the company online. I researched the company on my end - and sure enough it was a scam.

 As a small business owner, I myself have received mailings from companies (that I don’t work with) urging me to submit payment for services I use, with threats of cancelling the service by a certain date. Just recently, I received a warning from an unknown company stating that I would be hit with huge fines for non-compliance if I didn’t send them a payment asap. This was regarding a policy that DOESN’T EVEN APPLY TO MY BUSINESS.  In each of these cases, I did my research and confirmed that both were scams. Scammers can target ANYONE. Taking time to seek out accurate information is our best defense.

#scammers #research #mailings