Sunday, November 22, 2020

Christmas Scammers! 'Tis The Season!

I have been working on my next project, but as we are in the holiday season I wanted to make a "public service announcement". I have always been annoyed with people that try to trick people in order to steal from them. What I am about to tell you happens all the time, but it becomes a lot more obvious to me during the holidays.

First, let me say this, I am really sick of the ads and pop-up ads that have flooded the internet. You cannot go anywhere online without being hit with all sorts of ads. I remember the early days of the internet before pop-ads showed up. I have learned that you just have to have some form of ad-block on your browsers because everything has gotten so far out of control on this. (Edit: as of Feb. 2021, I have found Ublock Origin to be pretty good as a ad-blocker.)

That is one thing, but the other thing is a lot of these websites and social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) are allowing scammers to advertise on their sites. You see these cheap deals that beat all the other prices around. Why is that? Probably because they are bootleg operations from some overseas country. IF you get whatever you purchased you then find out it was a cheap knock off of what they advertised.

On social media they have a tendency to keep all positive comments up about their advertisement, but if negative comments come up pointing out the scam then those get deleted. The new thing that irritates me is people blindly assuming what they purchased at Target, Walmart, Best Buy, etc. is the same thing they see in one of these ads. This is where the mindless commenting comes up that social media encourages. So, people will come on these advertisements saying, "Oh, I love this! I just got one from Walmart last week!" Great, you just encouraged the scam!?!?!?! The question of course is, "Are you getting the identical product that is made from the same company?" That type of question is never asked or gets deleted because it would reveal the scam.

I cannot remember if I mentioned it on here, but I got tricked about two years ago on Instagram. I saw something my mother would have liked. I purchased it, but afterwords I started spending more time looking up prices. I saw what I got was an overpriced rip off. I sent an e-mail off telling them I wanted to cancel. They waited four days, until about 10 minutes after it was shipped, to tell me it was too late to cancel. I got the credit card company to cancel, and when the package arrived I told the mailman to send it back. I think the package just got thrown out right away at the post office since they were not able to return it. 

So, please be careful purchasing from websites or ads that DO NOT HAVE A GOOD REPUTATION YOU CAN VERIFY! Check around, do some searches, and ask others if you are not sure. 

Another topic about scammers are the ones that use the phone. It is a big topic, but let me suggest you and any elderly people you know watch the following:

Spying on the Scammers Series (Youtube)

Jim Browing is really good at exposing these types of people. Another guy I like to watch is Kitboga who loves wasting the scammer's time by turning it into a role-playing game.

 (EDIT: Here is a nice USA Today article about what I have just mentioned)