I’ve written before about people who prey upon the unsuspecting as far as buying horses or selling horses on the internet-and if you keep up with me, you know that as far as I’m concerned, buying and selling ANYTHING, but especially living, breathing animals, is just plain risky business when you can’t physically SEE what you are doing. It’s bad enough when you are standing for heaven’s sake. You try to buy/sell sight unseen and you are quite literally telling the crooks “here I am-I’m dumb as a stump-you can take my money-make me cry-and there’s nothing I can do about it.” I’m serious as a heart attack.
But hey-there’s a new kind of scam going around-and I absolutely despise scammers in general, so here’s the deal:
They call up people-usually at random-but they will target some people they know have money-and tell them that they have ‘kidnapped’ a family member, or that a family member is overseas in jail and needs bail money and money for a ticket to get home (passport is gone, ticket stolen, blah, blah, blah-this is often to elderly people who don’t recognize the voice of grandkids anyway-so “hey, granny, I need money” sounds plausible).
The person receiving the call-of course-panics. (Well, who wouldn’t?) They’ve been told to wire money to _________ right now or something terrible will happen.
Only it won’t. Why not? Because that family member is just fine-and probably has no idea the call was ever made. Rut Roh.
What should you do?
Hang up the phone and write down the number that called. That’s #1. You’ll give that to police.
#2 Call that family member and find out if they’re okay. (Have a “panic” word pre-arranged so if things aren’t okay, they can tell you.) or text them.
#3 Call 911
If you have a smartphone like mine, it will allow me to hit the power button 3 times rapidly. It then taken picture out of both cameras and notes the GPS coordinates. It then dials the pre-programmed numbers and sends the pictures and GPS coordinates to those numbers. If those people either can’t reach me or they see something in those pictures they shouldn’t, they’re going to call 911 and give them the GPS coordinates. Those picture could include where I was attacked and/or who attacked me. That’s valuable evidence-and best of all-even if the phone is destroyed, it is preserved somewhere else.
I like to think that people are good and honest-but, unfortunately, a great many are not. Stay alert. It can save your heart, money, and maybe your life.