Don’t get scammed this holiday season. Here’s what to watch out for
Holiday scams are nothing new, but these are some of the most dangerous you’ll ever encounter.
You’re walking the streets of New York City on a sweltering day in August. The day is already hot, and you’re beginning to notice the traffic snarls and the crowds of people who are hurrying about their errands.
Suddenly, you find yourself surrounded by a crowd, and it seems as if every person you’ve ever known is out here now with a sign announcing, “I am here for one reason only. To steal your car.”
One of the men in this group is trying to sell you a car. He offers you cash for your vehicle, and he offers to pick you up at your destination in return. He takes your phone number, though, and sends you a text (which he pretends to be a phone number, because he has no idea what it means, and will likely never use) if you don’t respond to his message within 24 hours.
But you don’t have to respond. You can be sure this person won’t be able to find you. You’re a woman in your mid-40s, for goodness sake. It’s unlikely that this person could even find your home for an interview, let alone get into your car and drive you around.
But the man continues to urge you to give his cash (which is, by the way, probably much-too-little for the vehicle he’s selling) and, if you don’t, he’ll keep trying. Eventually, he’s going to insist it’s all part of a big scam that he’s pulling, and that you must trust him. And, when you do trust him, he’ll keep his promise. And you’ll get your car back and end up with a ton of money.
If you do give his money, you’ll get a text from the person that’s pretending to be on your phone, and you’ll never meet the person at all. The text will say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you