By Matt Belyus
Thank you for checking out the Valet Tech corner. Happy New Year from all of us here at Valet Technologies.
As you visit with friends and family for New Year’s parties, please be aware of any comments about scams online, by phone, by text, etc. We mentioned a few in last week’s article and after talking with one of our banking partners, we have even more to discuss.
Compromised social media accounts are a huge issue. Last week we mentioned someone sending cash in the mail that was fortunately recovered. Our banking partner had a customer that had purchased twelve thousand (yes. $12,000) dollars worth of gift cards from a variety of stores. The customer had pulled the money out of the account and then proceeded to purchase gift cards thinking that they were helping a friend that was in need. She sent the cards to the address given and the money was gone. There was nothing that the bank could be done since she had withdrawn the money from the account.
The same bank had another customer sending a wire transfer to someone in need, but it was also from a compromised social media account. They asked the customer if they were sure they knew the person, and they said yes. The wire was sent and then it was discovered that the social media account had been compromised. Typically when a wire transfer is sent, the money is gone and very little chance to recover. In this instance the bank was able to recover 50% of the money, BUT it is very rare that any money is recovered.
Thieves are always running scams to steal hard earned money from trusting people. Older people are more trusting because we grew up in a time when you took people at their word. We have heard of other stories about scamming from younger people as well from online stores to utilities being past due. Anyone calling or emailing wanting gift card payments is most likely (99.9 percent) a scam. If someone in requesting a wire transfer, verify the requestor and not by using social media and listen to your banker if they see any flags on the account where you are sending the money.
Please enjoy your gatherings, but please keep safe and be vigilant for those around you. Please reach out to us if you have any questions.
Check us out at www.valettech.net, or email us at [email protected], and we will answer your questions.