Because We Care, Part 2:
Fear and excitement are two of the most stressful emotions that an individual will experience. Oftentimes, when scams are introduced using this tactic, the victim will end up having extreme anxiety and/or irrational thoughts, resulting in a scam. Think about something that makes you feel so nervous or scared that it causes you to feel anxious. Or, think of a time that you got so excited that it took several minutes before you could get your heart rate back to normal. Scammers will use these emotions to steal your personal information, and ultimately steal your money.
In my last President’s Message, I talked about the increasing level of customer fraud and customer scams, and how you can become more proactive to prevent being scammed. In this issue, I’ll cover some of the ploys scammers use to contact you directly and trick you into playing their game and providing personal information. It all comes back to emotions. They get you to provide your information by causing you to feel extreme fear or extreme excitement, and in the flood of emotion you stop thinking logically and rationally and you are caught up in a scam, such as: 1. “You are the BIG WINNER and all you have to do is send a $500 processing fee and then our company will send you $1 million. Congratulations!” 2. “Grandpa, this is your grandson and I am in big trouble. I have been arrested and I am scared. But, they said that if I pay a few hundred dollars I can be set free. Please help me!” 3. “Hello dear friend, this is Harley. I have been motorcycling around Europe and I just got robbed. Please send cash so that I can come home.” The next thing you know you have provided your personal information or you have sent untraceable funds (usually Western Union wires or gift card payments) and you have been scammed.
You may think this would never happen to you, right?! Trust me, these scammers are professionals! You want to be the big winner just once, or you really want to help your relative that is in trouble,but if you are really thinking about moving forward and sending the money, just STOP and think rationally. No one will ever call and ask you to help them get out of jail using gift cards as payment! You need to protect yourself from the bad guys and don’t be tricked into giving your money or your information. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!