At a workshop by Iowa Fraud Fighters, representatives from the Attorney General’s office shared warning signs of the different types of scams that target consumers. There are so many!

Everyone, but especially senior citizens are targeted by pyramid schemes, oil/gas/metal schemes, free dinner or vacation seminars, and promissory notes. Scammers prey on elderly who may not be as computer savvy and fool them into giving permission to allow the scammer to take over their computer and access all its data or they commit affinity group fraud by sending (false) messages to friends saying “I made this great investment, you should, too.” The presenters shared stories about “heartbreak schemes” where the caller knows enough information about loved ones to have you believe they are in trouble and need money now or callers that require a bank account number to deposit a “prize.”

Everyone in the room came with the thought: “Oh, I am smarter than that; I could never be conned,” but their stories and video of those who thought the same thing – yet still lost thousands or more – reinforced the sophisticated ways that “the bad guys” are using technology to make fake circumstances appear real — in person, via email, social media, calls or postal mail.

Their tips: never answer the phone of a number you don’t know; realize that paying by credit card offers more protection than gift cards, debit cards or cash; don’t rely on your Caller ID (scammers spoof the name and phone numbers); double-check all your bank and credit card statements and verify any charity or investment vehicle through the attorney general’s office before you donate. It sounds like common sense, but the only thing common about fraud these days is the frequency with which it happens to smart people.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: