BOSTON (CBS) – This is National Consumers Protection Week. This is a national campaign to help consumers make better-informed decisions and avoid being scammed. Billions of dollars are lost each year to scammers.
Attorney General Healey’s office has joined the battle and will be holding informational meetings around the state all week. Log onto their website to get a list of the events in your neighborhood.
Scams are chasing you down every day. Answer your phone, open your e-mails and the scammers find you.
On average there are at least 2 email scams every day that end up in my junk e-mail and who knows how many my spam filter manages to catch.
This week alone I have inherited huge sums of money from China, Nigeria, South Africa, and Scotland. I have been chosen by the U.S. treasury to receive $500,000 and a personal email from Janet Yellan informing me she also had money for me!
Wells Fargo sent me a notice that my account has been flagged for unauthorized use, Chase told me they have funds they need to direct deposit into my bank account. I don’t have an account with either institution.
An email from Fed Express says they have a package they want to deliver so just click on this link to print out the label. And I won the lottery in the UK. And then there was the free airline ticket from Delta but the website was hairyflair.com. And requests from several charities fighting Ebola. And one ad for a belly buster.
Every one of these emails are bogus and dangerous. Some ask for personal information including bank routing numbers and credit card numbers. Others are malware and if you click on the link you have just invited viruses, worms, or Trojan horses onto your computer or worse the scammer may have control of your computer.
Do not open these emails, do not click on third party links, and certainly do not give out any personal information to an unsolicited email.
One more thing: Report Scams
If you think you may have been scammed: File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
Visit ftc.gov/idtheft, where you’ll find out how to minimize your risk of identity theft.
Report scams to the State Attorney General.
If you get unsolicited email offers or spam, send the messages to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you get what looks like lottery material from a foreign country through the postal mail, take it to your local postmaster.