Liar Liar - crooks, cons and scams
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire! Crooks, Cons, and Scams
There are lots of rotten people trying to get your money. Here are are few ways they do it.
Phone call from Microsoft (no it's not)
A ‘kindly’ support person claiming to be from Microsoft may call you up to tell you that you’ve got an internet or other computer problem; if you don’t fix it (with their help), your computer will ‘crash down.’ Remember the rule: Don’t respond! HANG UP! Microsoft doesn’t call people out of the blue. It’s a scam. Always be suspicious of calls like this.
Pop-up Warning on your computer (it's not from Microsoft either)
You may (especially if you don’t have security software) get a pop-up screen telling you that you have a problem. Don't click on the button; it will install malicious software on your computer. Don't call the phone number if there is one. You will NEVER get such a message from Microsoft; such messages are usually “spoofs” or otherwise fraudulent attempts to get you to do something or call someone.
Fake IRS Calls
We're used to the usual phone scams, but there's one that can be scary. If you get a call supposedly from the IRS, threatening legal action, just hang up! Don't call back if it's a recording. Don't try to argue if it's a live person. If the IRS has an issue with you, they'll send a letter. They won't call demanding that you send money by Western Union or by Visa prepaid card.
Be Sure Before You Open the Door
If someone claiming to be a utility worker shows up with no appointment, no ID, and no truck, call 9-1-1. Not sure? Call 9-1-1 anyway. The dispatcher will check with the utilities. Click here for a short video about this program.
No More Mister Nice Guy!
The most heartless scams are those that take advantage of our better nature. If someone knocks on your door or calls your phone with a hard-luck story, it's almost certainly a scam. There's a terrible variation - pretending that they've kidnapped your grandchild. Pick up your cell phone and call your grandchild to be sure, then call 9-1-1.
Just remember, you are not obligated to be nice to crooks. Don't politely hear them out. Don't try to figure out if they're sincere; they're experts in telling one convincing lie after another. Just say, "I'm sorry, I can't help you," and shut the door or hang up. If they persist or become abusive, just call 9-1-1.