Archive for September, 2014

Sick of Scams!

September 30, 2014
Are you as sick of scams as I am?  It seems like at least once a week we have someone calling to give us the wonderful news that we no longer have to pay line rental on our Testra phone.  Since our phone is a VOIP one going through a wireless internet network – no phone lines involved and we do no business with Telstra – we find that a bit hard to understand.  They then have the temerity to argue with you when you tell them they are lying.  Probably monthly we get a call to say that Microsoft has discovered a virus on our computer and they are calling to help!  Since they are sure we have a Windows computer when we actually have a Mac, that one is easy to see through too.
There seem to be some more subtle scams around now too.  My mum got a call when we were in Perth, purportedly from Telstra again, to say that they had overpaid a bill and wanting bank details to repay the excess!  Thankfully Mum was on guard and didn’t fall for that one, though I have heard of someone else’s mum who got caught out by something similar.  Just the other week Lydia got an email, supposedly from PayPal, saying that her account had been compromised and asking her to go to a linked page to change her login information.  She doesn’t have her own PayPal account, but it was obviously a deliberate attempt to steal people’s account details.
Scam
Last week we got a glossy brochure from a tourist agency, Bluebeam Tours, with a couple of scratchies enclosed that came to us all the way from Malaysia.  Surprise, surprise, one of the scratchies was the second prize of $175,000US.  How exciting!  However, as one of Kim’s mottos is “If something seems to good to be true, it probably is”, we checked it out on the Scam Watch website (http://www.scamwatch.gov.au), and sure enough it was a known scam.  (Many travel names and peoples experiences are listed on http://scam-detector.com/travel-scams/malaysian-lottery-brochure). Apparently the “winners” are told they need to pay taxes and fees of about $5000 before they can receive their prize money, which of course never comes.  The scammers must have to frequently remake their web pages and reprint the brochures with new business names as they get found out, but enough people must fall for the con to make it worth their while to go to all the expense of printing etc!
Sad isn’t it?  And somewhat annoying too!  Are people these days more prepared to lie and steal than in the past, or is it just the modern age of phones and internet making contact with more people so much easier?
take care – and don’t be too trusting……