Below is a typical example of a scam email. The email is supposedly from Ecitic Bank China seeking the attentionof the email holder to help him frudulently secure an over-due inheritance of a late client. Such an email should be regarded with the contempt that it deserves. Unfortuntely, people fall prey to scammers. You would ask why would people fall for such stories; is it out of greed, lack of information, or out of boredom.
Before you dismiss this as an impossibility for one to fall victim to this scam.
Rita (pseudonym), 26, whose policy with an insurance company would mature next month, receives a strange call from someone who claims to work at the insurance company. The person informed Rita that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, customers are advised not to come to their offices. Therefore, she should fill out a form, which he sent through WhatsApp. Rita filled the form, took a snapshot of her ID card and her signature and forwarded it through WhatsApp to the person to work on her benefits. Is this scenario familiar enough?
You could be the next scam victim. Scammers know your email address and phone numbers. Do not act ignorant of their modus operandi; treat every email or phone call as suspicious until confirmed otherwise.
FEW THINGS TO NOTE
- Hang up the phone or end calls if the person on the other line does not respond immediately. It could be an automated computer system making tonnes of calls to build a list of people to target for theft.
- Do not return a call or continue conversation with someone who claims to be from your bankers, insurance company, or any office that have access to your personal information or your money. Get the official telephone number of the office or your banker and enquire about the call you received if it is legitimate.
- No credit card company will email or call you to verify personal information. If in doubt, call the number on the back of your card and ask the company if they tried contacting you.
- Thanks to the various social media platforms, you can at least verify profile pictures of persons you hook up with online for a relationship.
- Never click a link in an unsolicited email or divulge personal info, no matter how enticing the offer.
- Speak to someone, if you suddenly receive an email from a stranger empathising with you, or offers a juicy package because scammers are noted to put you under emotional ether. They know when you are most vulnerable and they attack. STAY ALERT.
Kita, J. (2016). A new breed of con artist. Today’s scammers are on the phone, at your door and online. Here’s how to fend them off. AARP Bulletin. Retrieved on 17/06/2020 from https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2015/scams-and-frauds-to-avoid.html
Source: Public Affairs Unit Desk