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    Scams and getting taken advantage of – Content by Judy

    As the holidays approach it becomes almost prime season for the scams to pop up. There is the feeling of good will and sharing. There is the end of year giving for tax purposes.

    And there are the schemes out there looking to catch you in your weak moment. We have all heard of the lady getting taken advantage of for thousands of dollars. She goes to the bank and transfers her savings to the love of her life overseas.

    Well that guy who convinced her to send her savings is trying to convince dozens of other ladies to send him money as well. And he laughs all the way to the bank!!

    Now you wonder. How do I not fall victim to these scams? How do I keep my guard up?

    One big way is to not answer the phone when someone you don’t know calls you. When your phone rings and it’s a number or name you don’t know – let the phone continue to ring and have your answering machine answer. All of those unwanted calls do not leave messages.

    Now you can block those numbers from calling your again and again. If you don’t know how to block numbers, ask a family member or friend to help you.

    Otherwise just let it ring every time they call you. Do not answer!!

    Also, you can register for free with the National Do Not Call Registry. This can be done online at donotcall.gov or by calling 1-866-290-4236. Registrations do not expire. If you have previously registered your number, there is no need to register again. You can also check to see if your number is already on the Registry at donotcall.gov

    Then there is Junk mail. Don’t even open it. Shred it!! Remember it’s called junk mail for a very good reason!!

    Do not send anyone money. Don’t send money to those organizations that are out there doing mass mailings and asking for your hard-earned dollars. If you think it’s an organization you want to help, research how much of every dollar they get goes to help the people they are asking you to help. Lots of times it’s pennies. The rest goes to the campaign to raise the money.

    And if you want to help those less fortunate than you consider giving locally. There are many different groups in your area doing marvelous work and can always find a great way to use your dollars. Often, it’s much more meaningful for us when we see how that agency, we gave money to is helping those in our neighborhood, our town or our area.