Any day is a bad day to encounter a scammer, but something about April and tax time seems to flush them to the surface like worms after a hard spring rain. I was reminded of this when my phone rang yesterday. Because of crank calls, I make it a habit to let my phone ring through to messages if I don’t recognize the ID name. On this day, however, I was expecting some important information, so I lifted the receiver without thinking.
“Do not hang up,” a man’s voice commanded. Since no friend, doctor or state and federal agency opens a conversation that way, I hung up.
Because I am a senior, I am beloved by the dishonest. Happily, AARP does a good job of alerting me to schemes meant to fleece the gullible. The April 2019 edition of the AARP Bulletin is chock full of good advice. Nonetheless, because this blog has younger readers, I’ll repeat a few of their recommendations.
- Gets a paper shredder and use it for any document that contains personal information you discard.
- Use a credit rather than a debit card to make purchases. Money in a debit transaction disappears automatically. A credit card waits for your authorization before making a payment.
- Put your phone(s) on the National Do Not Call Registry if you haven’t done so. It won’t catch every unwanted call, but it will reduce the number. 888-382-1222.
- Be wary of wi-fi. If you must connect, make sure you have a virtual private network (VPN) installed on your electronic device. Don’t have one? Try Hotspot Shield, NordVPN or CyberGhost.
- Stop entering sweepstakes!
Also, I’m happy to announce I’ve done my part to keep you safe. My web and blog sites now carry the https symbol, meaning they are secure. And, if you think this blog is useless, I’m also happy to report my unsubscribe button is working. Of course, I’d prefer you to stick with me as I’ll be back with more to say tomorrow. In the meantime, go out and be safe.