Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Teacher Tuesday: Scam and Scammers

Good Morning Tuesday!

Today the South Dakota State Jackrabbits will play for the Summit League Championship for both the Mens and the Womens BB team.  This is the second year in a row that both teams have made the finals (with both teams winning and advancing to the NCAA tournament last year).  Just another step closer from changing the name from "The Summit League Tournament" to "The Jackrabbit Invitational".

Today's subject is Scams and Scammers.
I was actually inspired this morning by a CBS New Feature on the "Jamaica Lottery Scam".  There is no streaming video of this yet, I checked, or else I'd attach a link to the story here.

This Article does a better job of explaining the scam than me.  Basically, scammers are calling older US citizens, and tell them that they won the lottery, but they have to pay taxes.  And it begins.

There are a number of scams and frauds out there.  The Government even has a handy website, with hints and suggestions to help you avoid a scam.

What are some of the more popular scams?  Well, here is a list of the Top 10 e-mail/internet Scams of 2012.  I have recieved several of these e-mails over the years, including the Nigerian Scam (which is really quite hilarious if you read the whole thing), The Lottery Scam, and Disastery Relief scam.

Also, this year we have had several "Phishing Scams" with e-maill sent to staff members, asking them to click a link.  (The State usually does a great job of "catching" these, and letting me know exactly who got the e-mails).

So, just some general hints and thoughts to help keep you and your family safe.

  1. People won't track you down to give you free money.  This doesn't happen, except in the movies.  Now if a lawyer arrives at your doorstep, with paperwork and documentation...that's one thing.  But anyone on the phone or over e-mail is NOT to be trusted.
  2. You have to buy a ticket to enter a lottery!  If someone says you won the lottery...think about it, did you enter the Jamaican lottery?  When did you buy a ticket?
  3. Never, Ever, Ever - Give out passwords, PIN numbers, or anything like that.  
  4. Reputable organizations that help the needy; like the Red Cross and Salvation Army would NEVER e-mail you soliciting for donations.  They are usually linked to from other sites (like Katrina relief or Sandy relief or whatever the case may be).  But if you get an e-mail out of the blue...that's not them.
  5. Make purchases and/or transactions online only on secure sites.  How do you know they are secure? Well, usually there is a "lock" symbol in the address bar that shows they are secure.

Notice the "lock" on the left?

This is good, you are secure.

And the always reliable, dependable, trustworthy, rule of thumb:
"If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is".  

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