Beware, not all thieves are stupid

This week's Hammertime advises awareness when it comes to theft and fraud.

In these ultra-modern days of overwhelming technology where we can verbally or visibly chat with some-one across the street or half way around the world with the flip of a finger, one has to wonder just how much crap there is flying 24-7 around the airwaves, and how much danger there is to be hacked or scammed? As a senior my knowledge about these amazing new electric gizmos is minimal, but I do get quite upset over all the phone calls or junk-mail that comes across the internet from who knows where offering us a once in a life-time free vacation, new car, cash prizes, tax breaks, and so many other amazing deals and perks that are available to you and me NOW if we JUST PRESS ONE.

Bottom line…just hang up the phone, because most of these wonderful deals are a scam, and the person on the other end, who is likely just a recording, are just trying to find a way to hack into our private and personal information. Best action if we are unsure about any calls making so called SUPER OFFERS or any other on-going harassing calls or emails, phone a family member, your bank, or the R.C.M.P. to get information, report, and explain the problem. This kind of fraud is running wild nowadays, and here are just a few examples of the horrific crime and consequences that can occur if we don’t take care of our precious belongings and personal and private information. Most computer systems can be equipped with anti-spam protection, but if we see some ‘junk mail’ pop up that we know nothing about, don’t log in, just dump it in the trash.

Some people in Windsor, Ontario left their vehicle in the long-term parking while they were away and someone broke into the car. Using the information on the car’s registration in the glove compartment the thief’s drove the car to the people’s home and robbed it. So I guess that if we are going to leave our car anywhere for a long period of time, we should NOT leave our registration/insurance cards, remote control garage door opener, extra keys, or any other important belongings in our vehicle.

Another person had their car broken into in a parking lot next to the arena where they were attending a hockey game. Things stolen included a garage door remote control, some money, and a GPS which was prominently displayed on the dash. When the victim got home, they found that their house had been completely ransacked because the ‘not so stupid’ thieves had activated the GPS to get them to the house and then used the garage door opener to gain easy entry into the home. To make things worst they knew what time the hockey game was finished, so they had lots of time to take what they wanted, and even brought a truck to load it all into.

And here’s a crime that no one ever thought of. A lady had her handbag stolen, which contained her cell phone, credit card, wallet, etc. Twenty minutes later she called her hubby from a pay-phone telling him what had occurred, and he quickly explained that he had received a text from her asking about their PIN number to which he promptly replied. When they rushed down to the bank the thief had actually used the stolen cell phone to text HUBBY, got ahold of the PIN, and within 20 minutes had withdrawn all the money from their bank account.

A few tips to protect ourselves from these crimes

Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list. Avoid using names like Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Mom, etc. When sensitive information is being asked through texts, CONFIRM by calling back. When being texted by friends or family to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back them back to confirm the message. For the protection and privacy of all of us on all these vital issues it is so important to be very safe than sorry, and please pass the same message onto others. Have a great week, all of you.