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2022 SCAMS IN THE AGE OF COVID?

Dale Gribow July 27, 2022

For a scammer to be successful, s/he has to first be able to reach “the mark” to scam them. With Covid so prevalent again, many of us are staying home. Thus we are available to pick up the phone, to hear the “pitch?.” 

Of course, there are neighbors who don’t worry and are now booking vacations for August and September of 2022. However, there are scams for them too. It goes like this…when you can find great travel deals online, some are scammers. Some are exclusive vacation deals, often below market value. You also find a rental car site offering cars below the going rate. 

The SCAM is that you are asked to pay upfront, using a means off the platform. Scammers often create phony travel sites offering below market value deals. The sites are often high up in search rankings. This is because they pay for the ads. The sites usually look like the real things, with logo’s and colors the same as the original. The SCAM seems to often be the way you pay for the item. 

Be skeptical of all pitches that are below market value. Google the site and look for reviews saying they are fake etc. Be diligent! 

Of course, before you can go on that vacation to Hawaii, you have to trim down to look good in your bathing suit. Bogus diet products and programs account for 30% of all complaints re health care products. 

The phony company often uses celebrity endorsements, or they say such and such celebrity successfully used it. They also pay “influencers” to promote unproven products, such as a slimming tea. Words like “miracle”, “revolutionary” or “scientific breakthrough” should be a warning sign to check it out. 

The bottom line is “don’t trust marketing claims regarding health care products or even lawyers”. Do your due diligence. If it turns out to be a scam report it to the Better Business Bureau etc 

Clearly, not all scams are travel or diet related. Many have to do with your home and a door to door solicitation. Often the encounter follows a rain, that caused damage. The Desert Sun explained this we are in Monsoonal season. 

The encounter will go like this: Someone knocks on your front door, explaining they are working in the neighborhood and have “left over materials” they can use if you have any damage. Of course, they have to “close you” on the spot and explain that the price tomorrow will be a lot more than today. 

Again, you should use due diligence and check them out on google reviews. Of course, you should never pay the full amount up front. Unfortunately, even I was taken by a scammer like this. I guess I am part of the gullible public too. If you are too, report the scam. 

Report SCAMS, FRAUD and potential ID thefts by contacting: 

Fraud alert hotline toll free 855 303 9470 or visit website www.aging.senate.gov/fraud-hotline 

Adult Protective Services, DPSS 760 773 6700 

SENIOR VET FRAUD HOTLINE: 760 837 7555 

Federal Trade Commission ID Theft Hotline 877IDTheft/ www.consumer.gov/idtheft 

Social Security hotline 800 269 0271/ www.ssa.gov/oig 

Equifax: 800 525 6285/ www.equifax.com 

Experian: 888 397 3742/ www.experian.com 

Transunion: 800 680 7289/ www.transunion.com