Be­ware so­cial me­dia crooks and swindlers

The Day - - OPINION -

So­cial me­dia and swindlers are in the news these days. My aim is to help good, hon­est, hard-work­ing peo­ple avoid be­ing scammed by ver­min who ply their filthy trade as crooks.

I re­cently took phone calls from a man (with heavy for­eign ac­cent) who said I was el­i­gi­ble for a “dis­count” on my em­ploy­ers’ in­sur­ance. He wanted per­sonal and fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion. I was skep­ti­cal, and I asked him for a call­back num­ber. He pro­vided a num­ber that was bo­gus.

I have a Face­book ac­count with a num­ber of friends. I re­ceived a pri­vate mes­sage from what looked like a friend men­tion­ing a “United Na­tions Em­pow­er­ment Fund.” This long-lost con­tact said he “re­ceived money and saw my name on a list,” and asked me to text a num­ber and “to see if I was el­i­gi­ble.” At first I thought it le­git. When I asked him a per­sonal ques­tion about a mu­tual friend, there was no ac­knowl­edg­ment of my ques­tion. More­over, the texts were in bro­ken English. Of course, at that point I got sus­pi­cious. Turns out my friend’s ac­count was hacked. He had no knowl­edge of the at­tempted con.

Be­ware of Pri­vate Mes­sage or Mes­sen­ger texts about “grants” of any kind. Af­ter pay­ing a big “pro­cess­ing fee,” no “grant” will ap­pear. These creeps will use your trust in a friend to rip you off. Eric R. Straub East Lyme

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