If you get a call out of the blue from someone offering you a free DNA test to see if you’re at risk for cancer, hang up!
Authorities are saying this is one of the newest scams. The object is to get your Medicare number, so the fraudsters can use that to bilk Uncle Sam for phony medical procedures, prescriptions and equipment. The calls usually start with someone asking if there’s been a history of any cancer in your family. As most families have been touched in some way by this disease, the chances of you saying yes are high.
Remember, any testing should always be done at your doctor’s directive – not somebody you don’t know over the phone!
In a census year like 2020, con artists pull out a scam they can only run once every 10 years – the Census Scam.
If you receive a phone call or email from someone claiming to be a census worked asking for you to provide your social security number as part of the 2020 Census, beware!
Census workers will not ask for social security numbers, nor would they ever threaten you with jail if you refuse to provide it. Ditto with attempts to “raise money” during the census.
It would be a rare person who has not had at least one attempted scam via phone (cell or land line) this past year.
Law enforcement says these are the top scams of the year gone by:
- Phone numbers on your caller ID that are very close to your own number. Scam artists know you're more likely to answer an unknown number that's close to your number. If you don't recognize the number, let it go to voice mail.
- “The IRS” claiming they’re about to take you to court or have you arrested unless you make immediate payment via wire transfer or debit card. Tip: The IRS NEVER makes phone calls. Official business is always conducted by mail.
- “Tech support worker” claiming they need access to your computer remotely to remove viruses. What they’re really going to remove is your personal information.
- “Utility bill collectors” looking for immediate payment or else your utilities will be shut off. Again, real utilities do not operate this way.
When in doubt, get off the phone and make contact yourself with the agency the original caller claimed to be from.
What’s Hot in the World of Collectibles…
Space Program Memorabilia: Particularly from the Apollo moon missions. Our early astronauts tended to sign a lot of autographs, which they left with their families as a kind of insurance in case they dudn’t make it back!
WWII Memorabilia: They may have been the Greatest Generation, but their wat souvenirs are fetching much on the collectors’ market.
Looking to raise a little cash and de-clutter at the same time? Here’s what’s hot and what’s not in the world of collectibles:
|Coins/Currency Pre-20th Century||War Artifacts from WWI or II|
|Cardboard Advertising Signs||Metal Advertising Signs|
|Movie posters Pre-1990||Movie Posters Post-1990|
|Space Program Collectible||Comics Books Post-1970|
|Vintage Mint Condition Toys||Post-1960 Campaign Buttons|
Authorities warn that today’s biggest scam is the supposed call from “Tech support.” Fraudsters are racking up nearly $460 every 10 seconds for a yearly haul of $1.5 billion.
Here’s how the scam works.
You get a call from somebody claiming to be from “Microsoft,” “Windows” (a giveaway as Windows is the name of the operating system, not the company) or an anti-virus software company such as Norton or Symantec. The caller claims that software on your computer is sending them messages that you have very dangerous viruses on your computer. They can remove the viruses if you give them remote access to your computer.
What that remote access will really do is give the scam artists access to all your vital information, account numbers and passwords.
Here’s what you need to know:
1.) Companies like Microsoft and Symantec will never call you out of the blue. They just don’t.
2.) Anti-virus software is designed to catch and remove viruses all by themselves. There is no anti-virus software that alerts the home office and then requires a live tech support person to remove it.
Don’t fall for the scam. Either hang up or do what we do. Ask the caller if they think their mothers would be proud of how they’re spending their days as a thief who hides their true identity and tries to rip off old ladies.
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