Shameful Shams

Watch Out for Fraud

New Year 2019

We all get junk mail and even junk email. That has become just another one of those facts of life in America today. We even get spam and scam phone calls. But what about those calls and mailers that seem legitimate. Case in point, I have been getting repeat phone calls from many different phone numbers claiming to be about my credit card as an official call from my bank, yet when I ask the live person what bank they are referring to, I get back a huffy, “Well, yours, of course, and that is not an appropriate question.”

Obviously this person’s company was a scam.

But how about this one?

Legit or Not?

The most glaring indicator that this is, for lack of a better term, a “legitimate scam” is the bold notation that “WORKPLACE COMPLIANCE SERVICES IS NOT A GOVERNMENT AGENCY AND DOES NOT HAVE A CONTRACT WITH ANY GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY TO PROVIDE THIS SERVICE.” In other words, this company is asking us to put our annual filing with Colorado into their hands for $85 a year with no indication that the $85 is even part of the Colorado filing fee. Of all we know, they are making $85 to sit there and tell us that it is time to file and how much it will be. Still, there are also illegal scams that do what these guys have done:

Indicators

W

Abundant use of statutes, both real and imaginary.

W

Legal-looking form.

W

Very close response date.

W

Referencing names and addresses.

W

Immediate requirement of payment.

Buyer Beware

While the example given tries to make itself out to be by the government, an entity that might be difficult to contact regarding the legitimacy of any service, most of them are claiming to be your bank, your mortgage lender, even your Internet service provider. The best way to combat this is to use your known legitimate contact information to get hold of the people the scammers claim to be representing and letting them know. Do Not Call lists no longer work as advertised and there is no Do Not Mail list at all. If you are technically savvy, you might even try bouncing scam emails back at those sending them. And the national Do Not Call list does have a way to report phone numbers if you are willing to take down the time and date and phone number as well as notes about the phone calls you are getting.

DO NOT, however, try sending back junk mail. This can mess up what the postal service knows about your address instead of doing what you really want which is to annoy the scammer. 

Generally, if it is too good or too bad to be true, it might be a good idea to have it checked out before believing it. Buyer beware.

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