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Scams - Megan Gullett says one in five will be hit

One person in five is a victim of a scam with the average loss of $1,000 each.

These statistics were presented by Russell County FCS Agent Megan Gullett in a free workshop at the Adair Extension Office last week on how to stay safe and avoid scams.

She says, first of all, never, ever say the word "yes" in answer to a caller asking, is this you? That one word can be used in your voice to sound as if you were making purchases.

Always reply instead, "this is she/he - who's calling?"


More tips:

Never, ever fill in information and reply unless you've verified who sent the prompt to you.

Never, ever click a link without verifying it.

Never, ever copy a link and paste it into another browser when you are directed to.

Never, ever reply to a stranger's email.

Always hover your mouse over the email address to make absolutely sure it's the email address of someone you know.

Always look for the "lock icon" on a site before placing an order.

Megan led attendees through a bingo-like game called SCAM-O. As folks marked off the experience they already had by a potential scammer, whenever they got the standard bingo lineup, straight down, straight across or diagonal, they got to holler SCAM-O and win a prize.

The SCAM-O score card contained the following scams that were discussed: romance scam, internal revenue service scam, fake check scam, prize/lottery/sweepstakes winner scam, employment scam, online purchase scam, phishing scam, Medicare scam, grandparents scam, fake loan scam, charity scam, home-improvement scam, deputy sheriff scam, Social Security scam, government grant scam, and tech support scam.

Do be leery of every phone call, every email, every text message. Being careful and proactive to double check everything is the main way to stay safe. Any messages asking for information and/or money are very likely scams.

If you continue a conversation with a scammer, you will be made to feel that something is urgent. Don't buy it - ask for their number and say you'll call back. Then call a family member or a trusted advisor to verify. Remember, software allows criminals to create messages that sound exactly like your loved one's voices, and they can now create pictures of them, and match wrongful words with their faces. It is a time to be extra critical of every call, text, email, and even letters from the post office. You'll get things made to look like everyday ordinary mail that has been created falsely.

Always ask yourself before responding to anything, "has this ever been said/offered/sent/done to me before?" That will be your first inkling that something is out of the ordinary and possibly false.

The Extension Agent is a good place to learn how to manage communications, recognize scams, and know if, how and when to respond.


This story was posted on 2023-08-22 09:51:18
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Russell Co. Agent speaks on how to avoid being a victim



2023-08-22 - Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com.
Russell County FCS Agent Megan Gullett presented a free workshop at the Adair Extension Office last week on how to stay safe and avoid scams. She led attendees through a bingo-like game called SCAM-O. As folks marked off the experience they already had by a potential scammer, whenever they got the standard bingo lineup, straight down, straight across or diagonal, they got to shout out SCAM-O and win a prize.

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Game showcases scams people are experiencing



2023-08-22 - Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com.
The bingo-like game called SCAMO was used to demonstrate how many different methods are currently being used by scammers trying to steal identity and money. The SCAMO score card contained the following: romance scam, internal revenue service scam, fake check scam, prize/lottery/sweepstakes winner scam, employment scam, online purchase scam, phishing scam, Medicare scam, grandparents scam, fake loan scam, charity scam, home-improvement scam, deputy sheriff scam, Social Security scam, government grant scam, and tech support scam. For more information look to the Adair County Extension Office, 409 Fairground Street, Columbia, KY, 270-384-2317.

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Scammers trying to use Post Office



2023-08-22 - Columbia, KY - Photo from screen shot by Linda Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com.
This is a current text message scam effort using very real copies of logo and information from the Post Office (USPS).

Just call the Post Office if you worry about a package. Scams are meant to cause you worry, concern, fear, etc. Don't respond to the text, don't fill in any information, don't click on a link, don't copy the link and paste it. A local Post Office representative said, "we never send a text message."

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