Letter: Be prepared for telephone scammers
To the editor of THE EAGLE:
This is a warning about a widespread telephone scam. I am a grandmother who was conned into sending money to a grandson who supposedly needed help. Posing as a police official, the caller knew facts about my grandson and wove a convincing story of his urgent need, which "had to" be kept secret from others and dealt with right away. So powerful was the caller’s narrative that, even though I was warned by employees of a money transfer service not to fall for it, I sent money as instructed by the voice at the other end of the line, using the Green Dot cash transfer service. This money, I now understand, is gone forever.
If you receive a similarly suspicious call (mine was from 438-879-6660, an area code from Canada), it is a scam. My desire to help a grandson overrode by better sense. I see this clearly now but it wasn’t at all clear to me at the time. Be award that access to your name, address, telephone number and relatives can easily be gained through social media like Facebook and directory information about you on the Internet, even if you don’t use such services.
The power of the scammers is real. Be aware and be prepared.