Do What I Say, Not What I Did
Updated: Nov 9, 2021
Here I am being vulnerable. And so embarrassed. I teach people how to avoid getting scammed. A few weeks ago, I was almost scammed.
It was a few Saturdays ago. I woke up and saw an email from Wix (my website builder) saying that my payment didn’t go through. “That’s funny,” I thought, I just paid for it a few days ago. But instead of checking my bank statement, I clicked on the button and entered my credit card info. Not a good move.
Fortunately, I took another look at the email and saw it was a scam. Here were the clues:
I clicked on the email address. It looked like Wix but when I clicked on it it said, firstname.lastname@example.org. It should have the company’s name in it, in this case ‘Wix.’ Next, the salutation said, “Dear , ” with no name after ‘Dear.’ Finally, it said, “To reactivate your account, you must update your payment details.” Wix would never say ‘must.’ It would have more polite and would gently remind me to pay my bill.
The other thing I should have done is look at my bank statement. It showed that I did pay. So, what did I do next? Called my bank and they cancelled my card.
Scammers are everywhere. Please follow these rules: Click on the email and make sure it’s from the real company. Watch for grammatical mistakes. Take your time reading the email. If need be, Google the company, ask for Customer Support – they’ll tell you if they sent out the email.
Take a breath. Call someone you trust or a friendly and empathetic tech specialist and ask them if this email seems “phishy” (phishing is the term scammers use to try to trick you into giving them valuable private information). Next, if you act quickly, there is recourse: you can contact your bank, credit card company, payment source, etc. and have them investigate, stop payment, and reverse the charges.
The good news is the scammer didn’t get my money. But he did get me scared. Let my almost loss be your gain.