Life Support Scam

Nobody likes getting a phone call in middle of the night.  A phone call to tell you that significant other has been in a horrible accident in some far away place can be terrifying.  Just one problem.  You cannot always believe it.  As horrible as that may sound, a recent scam involving such a story has been popping up.

The scam starts with a phone call, where you are told about the accident or event, and you are told that you need to wire immediately to jump-start the process of getting help for the injured person.  They may even give you local numbers to call and verify the information.  In all your haste, you will not necessarily check the facts, and you will end up wiring the money.  A few hours later, and you will hear from that loved one, and they will be perfectly healthy.

How do you avoid such a scam?  As harsh as it may sound, you need to keep in touch with those close to you.  Let them know where you will be.  If your mother gets a phone call saying that you were injured in Mexico, and she knows you are in New Jersey, chances are she will call you.  If you do go to a place like Mexico, try and bring a cellphone, or keep in regular contact with loved ones, so that if anything does happen they know how to contact you.

While common sense has been a theme here, this scam invokes a lot of emotional pull.  That is why you should be smart with how you choose to travel.  That and call your loved ones every so often.

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