Scam Caution

  • Here's a cautionary tale. A friend told me about someone he knew that had to replace a cable TV box after a power surge. The cable company (in this case Spectrum) replaced the box without a problem. But then he got a phone call claiming to be from the cable company. They said that he owed $5,000 for the cable box since the failure was his fault. (spoiler alert: yes, it's a scam - and I expect that you knew that!) They told him that he had signed off on the purchase when they replaced the box and he could pay it off $49.95 a month. He went for it. When my friend told him it was a scam and he should go to the police his friend didn't want to do that. He said that they had threatened to destroy his credit and he didn't want to take a chance.


    Lessons to be learned? First, anytime someone unexpectedly comes to you with very good or very bad news, take some time to logically think about it. A simple search shows that you can buy a cable box for much less than $5k! A call to Spectrum would have cleared it up, too.


    Secondly, don't allow yourself to be pressured into making a snap decision. Very few good offers/situations disappear overnight. No matter what you're being told.


    And remember that the biggest tools in the scamster's toolbelt are your fear and greed. Both are under your control. Or can be if you choose to take a deep breath and step back from the situation.


    This scam is fairly easy to spot. Others are not so easy to avoid. The modern thief doesn't like to face his victims. No need to stick a gun or knife in your ribs or snatch your purse. It's much safer and easier to just steal some information on you and then steal your money through identity theft.


    If you haven't already you should consider getting a service that monitors your financial records and alerts you of any activity. We've just added IdentityForce™ to our affiliates. They'll monitor your identity to detect any illegal use. If anything suspicious occurs they'll immediately alert you. Again, if you don't have a service you should give this a look. Identity theft is the fastest growing criminal activity. And it's costing consumer thousands of dollars and many hours to straighten everything out after an identity theft. Much better to catch it before the bad guys can do any damage.


    Keep on Stretching those Dollars!

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