Avoid Scams

Have you ever been scammed?

One day, my neighbor was picking up her children from school when she received a request from a close friend. “Hey, my credit card’s not working and I’ve got a cartful of groceries. Could you Venmo my account X amount of dollars?” My friend responded, “Absolutely!” and proceeded to send the money as requested. Several minutes later another message said that it didn’t go through – would she please try again. Preoccupied with her children sitting in the car, she did as the message requested. Then it hit her! She quickly texted her friend and asked if she needed grocery money. Nope! She had been scammed.

Scams have been rising since Covid arrived in 2020. We’re spending more time online. Approximately 1 million people fell victim to Venmo scams last year. Scammers often insist for payment by Paypal, Cash App, or Venmo. Why? They know you’re unlikely to get that money back versus using a credit card or a bank card. So, here’s my advice: Don’t respond to unsolicited text messages or emails – ever! Never give anyone your two-factor authentication passcode and only use these apps for transferring money to people or businesses that you trust. Don’t let your emotions overrule logic. Think before sending any money. Scammers often use other people’s names or faces so you might not really know with whom you’re dealing. Urgency’s a big clue that something’s “phishy.” Avoid becoming a scammer’s next victim!

Scammed or not, you might be struggling with credit card debt. Start the new year off right by contacting Christian Credit Counselors. They can create a debt management plan specifically for you. For more information call the Crown Helpline: 800-722-1976 or visit online at crown.org/ccc.