Scams: 8 Steps to Protect Yourself and Others with Videos

Graphic of flames under "Scam Protection and Videos"

“This is Alex, calling you from the refunds department…”

“This is the Federal Bureau of Investigation. You must call us back…”

“This is the Internal Revenue Service. You must call us back…”

“Your computer is dead. You must telephone us to fix it and recover your info…”

Ever receive such a message or one pop up on your screen? Have you been scammed or know someone who has?

A computer engineer based out of Ireland who goes by an alias, Jim Browning is a true hero. When he learned someone close to him was swindled out of money, he got curious. The next time scammers called him, warned him that his money and his computer were in danger, he turned the tables on the thugs!

First he got into their computers. Then he took control of their office cameras. He continues to record of their actions, online and physically. When he can, he warns their prey before they lose their life savings.

This post is a departure from my usual bookish, artsy, cooking, travel, pet-loving type. When I read of this information in AARP Bulletin, I wanted you to know about it — and to pass it along to everyone you know who might be vulnerable to scammers or who knows others who could fall victim. Those over 60-years-old are five times more likely to be hit. Here the New York Times also covered these types of crimes in depth.

DIY: Protect Yourself & Others

If anyone calls to say you — or anyone else is — in grave danger unless you mail cash or gift cards (and most likely even instructs you to not discuss it with anyone):

  1. Hang up on them. If they left a message, erase it.
  2. Definitely don’t call them back.
  3. Never, under any circumstance, mail cash or gift cards.
  4. If there’s some remote chance you believe they might be legit, ask them to first mail something to you.
  5. Never deal with people who want your money and prohibit you from telling your bank, your store, or anyone you know.

If your computer flashes alarm lights, locks up, or beeps at you while a message urges you to telephone a number:

  1. Don’t touch your phone!
  2. Instead, turn off your computer, wait a few minutes, then turn it back on.
  3. If it isn’t as good as new, take it to a reputable repair place such as a computer store.

Below, in four video segments, Jim shares what he learned. For more on him and his findings, check out his YouTube channel.

 

 

 

What do you know about scammers? Have you been scammed or know someone who has?

47 thoughts on “Scams: 8 Steps to Protect Yourself and Others with Videos

  1. I still get the same robocalls telling me I’m moments away from being arrested if I don’t ________ .

    One would think that the algorithm would have given up on me and moved on to much more potentially profitable targets.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I believe that when someone calls me, they’ve entered my home. If I didn’t invite them in, I don’t have to answer, respond, or even be polite.

    I think we’re all sick and tired of scammers of any ilk. We rarely answer the phone now, waiting for someone to identify themselves on the answer machine or for a name to show on our TV screen, and only picking up if we know the person. I’ve even gotten phone calls “from” my own phone number!

    Jim Browning is doing much good for the public and so are you, Daal, by posting this info.

    Sadly, it’s when we’re at our most vulnerable that we respond to the scammers and get caught doing, saying, or giving something we never intended.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve never had this happen with my computer yet, so good to know! We just get the phone calls all the time: This is Visa security, This is the police, This is your bank…I always just hang up.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Thank you for sharing!!.. as of yet, I have not been scammed but I know those that have been… I am just careful and if the heart (and mind) raises the “red flag I delete it… 🙂

    Until we meet again…
    May your day be touched
    by a bit of Irish luck,
    Brightened by a song
    in your heart,
    And warmed by the smiles
    of people you love.
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have a lot of respect for “Jim Browning”. This post and the videos are incredible – thank you for sharing these, da-AL. I wish more people were aware of the scams because it really does pay to be more like me (miserably cynical!) My parents are pretty clever and street smart, yet both of them at some point have been very close to falling victim to scammers. It doesn’t matter if you’re smart, these guys can be very realistic, very persuasive and very manipulative. If it doubt, always hang up/ignore/delete the message. If it’s a company, call back the company directly. Don’t take any chances. It’s awful this is becoming such a huge problem. Where there are amazing advancements in the way we live our lives – the internet, contactless debit cards and so on – there will be depraved individuals out there just waiting to take advantage.

    Caz xx

    Liked by 3 people

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