- June 9, 2022
It’s that time of year again! Oh, wait! Every day lately is that time of year.
You hear about internet/email or text scams on the news. You read stories in the newspapers. You may have even gone as far as to help a dear friend bail themselves out of jail in Paris because they didn’t have their passport, or any other sad story you receive.
I’ve always been the first to say things like, "don’t click on links in emails you receive," or, "before you decide to be helpful, check out the story to make sure it is legitimate." But, when I received an email from a much loved and respected member of our community, I really wanted to help.
She was stuck in the hospital with only her laptop, according to the email. It was her friend’s birthday. She wanted to send her an Amazon e-card, but her credit card was declined. She asked me to send the e-card and she’d pay me back when she got home.
“Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that; what hospital are you in?” I asked. She said her doctor/family thought it best not to disclose that information. "Call me," I said. She couldn’t, even though most hospital rooms have phones in them; all she had was her laptop.
Wanting to be helpful, I asked for the details. She wanted to send $250 to this friend. Well, that made me want to be better friends with her. My birthday is coming up soon.
After the back and forth, combined with the request for $250, my "Spidey" senses perked up. Before I went any further I telephoned a mutual friend. She told me “It’s a scam!” They almost had me. I emailed them back and said, "No can do. Good luck. Call me when you get home."
I’m writing this to remind everyone to be careful when you want to be helpful to someone you know especially if they are greatly respected and loved. Don’t click on links in your email even if it is from a friend. Trust your instincts. Use it! If it can happen to me, a more than marginal computer savvy person, it can happen to you. Happy Holidays!
Janie M. Ray
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