I’m pretty sure that somewhere I’ve won a lottery or contest of some sort; that itself is unusual because I don’t buy lottery tickets. The number of people who are asking me for money is growing at an alarming frequent rate and I suspect you similarly might be affected.
This week, (and it’s only Tuesday), I’ve learned that the energy supplier I subscribe to has decided to raise what they charge by 40% due to a lot of heat being used by homeowners this winter. Uh, this is Canada an in the winter it gets chilly. How unfortunate that the weather didn’t follow the schedule the provider forecasted in terms of the fuel homeowners would require this winter. I went home and lowered the thermostat.
This morning I heard that the three large cell phone providers in Ontario have simultaneously raised their rates by $5.00 for new subscribers. Now there’s fines for collusion, but the three companies have denied doing this, they just all happened to make the same announcement quoting the same increases, for the same new clients. Were I to start with a cell phone plan, I’d be hit with this.
When I filled up my little SMART CAR this morning, it was quite low on fuel, and I paid $42.25 for gas – the most I’ve ever paid to fill it up. The guy who took my money was smiling, laughing, and overall quite merry, and I couldn’t help but feel he enjoyed doing his job of filling my car at 6:40a.m. But gas I need, money I pay.
From time-to-time I get phone calls from various organizations or someone knocking on the door asking for a donation to a cause; the cause being any one of a large number that if you weren’t being asked to provide money you would agree is a good one. But when you’re asked to fork over some money to a stranger, you can’t help but wonder about a scam.
Now on the flip side, I’ve been getting some emails that are interesting. It appears that there is a woman who passed away in Africa who of all the people in the world, instructed her solicitor to contact me directly and notify me that I’ve been designated to receive just over $2 million dollars. Yes I’m to take some of that for myself but also to pass on the money to charities and causes I support. I can hardly wait to get the money and it seems all I need do is hand over my banking information and this stranger is going to deposit it all in my account. Oddly, I won’t be doing this.
And if memory serves, it was late last year when I was notified that a horrendous mugging had taken place in South America and one of my relatives was being treated in a hospital there and needed a money wire in order to pay their bills and return home. Now I’ll admit that I’m getting more forgetful but the relative in question didn’t immediately come to mind, and unless some of my extended family has children unknown to me living somewhere, these people don’t exist.
It seems to me that if you are on the computer a great deal, the more you surf, the more likely you are to somehow come up on someone’s list as a potential sucker. Case in point, I’ve been contacted by The Royal Bank of Canada, (RBC) to verify my account details or my account will be closed. How do you close an account when I’ve never held one at RBC in the first place? But apparently all I have to do is give them my account details where I do bank now, and everything will be magically taken care of. Although St. Patrick’s day was yesterday, I see no pot of gold waiting for me.
But what I do suspect is that these appeals and scams work. After all, scammers on the internet can cast a very wide net and they only need to get a small percentage of people to respond in order to make a fortune. And while many job seekers are focused on their job search, I’ve seen less savvy and dedicated job seekers opening and reading these emails and saving them in their inbox. Why? Best not to even open the email that looks suspicious in the first place. Then there’s no lasting digital trail to your inbox.
Now I don’t want to judge anyone, but have a look at your own inbox. Do you have emails from horoscope providers, dating websites, people offering you free computers, surveys that will pay money for your opinion, or possibly an appeal for money? Most if not all are hoax emails. They send messages back to the scammers that you may be a potential victim, and so you get an increase in this scam.
If you are looking for work but can’t resist the urge to indulge in all these kinds of requests for your money and promises of love, fortune and success, do yourself a favour, and anyone who is helping you along. Create a separate email used exclusively for job searching. Don’t tell any of your friends or family about it. Use it only for contacting and responding to employers. Keep that other email for your social life.
IF you follow this advice, see if your job search email doesn’t stay free of spam…oh and could you all send me $10 for this advice please?