Apparently, it is scam season in Minnesota and they’re coming at people – primarily targeting the elderly – claiming to be everything from someone who can get you to the front of the line to get the COVID-19 vaccine to being from the IRS and there has been suspicious activity dealing with your Social Security Number to claiming to be able to get you a Stimulus Check quicker to claiming to be a friend of a relative who was arrested and needs bail money.
The one common theme among these scams is that they have called, emailed or texted out of the blue and are seeking something from you – whether it be money or personal information like Social Security Numbers or credit card numbers.
How to combat these people is something that needs to be relayed to the vulnerable population in our communities. The simple truth is that government agencies of all types (federal, state and local), banks and legitimate businesses NEVER ask for you to provide personal information over the phone, in an email or in a text. If you are contacted by someone who was unsolicited by you to, never provide them with personal information or agree to send them money, money orders or gift card numbers. In many cases, the scammers are savvy enough to make transactions almost untraceable and the victims have little to no recourse to recover their stolen funds.
To many of us, this may seem simplistic and beyond the realm of common sense. But, scam artists are slick in what they do and they tend to prey on those who are the most vulnerable, so tell family and friends that may fit into this category to never provide personal information to someone who randomly calls or sends you and email or test making threats or claims that you must respond. They may sound legitimate, but keep in mind that government agencies don’t contact people that way.