“This is the IRS. You have failed to make your payment, and federal agents have issued a warrant for your arrest. Please call this number immediately to avoid prosecution.”
“Oh really?” I shouted at the recorded voice. “Bring them on, baby.” Sadly, in Arizona, folk called the number and lost over two million dollars in the scam.
The news in awash with unsuspecting people being ripped off to free their grandchild from a Mexican jail, wire money to buy a designer puppy, or help some romantic interest get home from abroad. Dating sites are filled with these predators. I’ve also received a number of emails informing me I won the Irish Sweepstakes or I’m the last known heir of a family fortune. Of course, I needed to wire “x” amount of money to claim my prize or my inheritance.
What chaps my heinie most is scammers prey on the uneducated and the elderly. When I read an elderly woman gave her life savings to someone who promised to repay her double the amount in an hour, it sickens me. So for the most part, I research those with whom I do business. My tile guys, my roofer, my HVAC guy, my pool guy, my landscaper have all been vetted by recommendation of friends or outstanding reviews. Nor do I purchase big ticket items, like appliances or cars without perusing consumer reviews.
Yesterday when I went to the grocery store, I needed to change a Ben Franklin into two US Grants. My grocery houses an unknown bank, probably some start-up. I handed the teller my Ben Franklin, “I just need two fifties, please.” He marked my bill with an authenticating pen.
“Do you have an account with us?”
“Would you like to set one up?”
“No. Thank you.”
“Our policy does not allow us to give change to non-customers, but I’ll make a one-time exception in your case.”
WTF? It’s not like I asked for $100 in quarters, nickels, and dimes. No wonder I never considered doing business with this sketchy bank.