Swindlers need a comeuppance

It’s hard to keep up with the latest scams.

In recent weeks we have reported here on a crypto-currency scam that cost a local man $500,000 and on several senior attacks where grandparents are asked to bail out a grandchild. There are also many online and cellphone spoofs warning about fraud charges and warrants for arrest.

The common denominator for much of this activity are cowardly types that prey on the weak. The majority of the culprits we have come into contact with personally are from overseas, with local agents doing pickups from unsuspecting souls caught up in these frauds. It is quite sickening.

After watching the nightly newscast and yet another innocent being relieved of their nest-egg in a scam, we wondered aloud why the banks, policing community and telecoms can’t provide better security.

Last year the big banks declared billions in profits. It would only seem in the best interests of their clients that the banks would push harder for fraud prevention. A cash infusion for a task force, better training for tellers to know the signs of a traumatized customer – anything is better than the current setup which leaves the most vulnerable to fend for themselves.

Similarly, telecoms who provide the portals and phone lines for these fraudsters to operate should bear more culpability than a shoulder shrug. 

An answer would be found if government were to regulate in such a way that these fraudulent occurrences came out of the pocket of big business, rather than the little person trying to make ends meet and live an honest life.

Until this type of activity hits close to home for regulators and legislators, little will happen. Rather than turn a blind eye to these crimes, it’s time for leaders to act.

Enough already.

In the meantime, the onus remains on potential victims to become educated in the ways of scam artists keep vigilant and use simple verification techniques. 

It can be as easy as asking a suspicious caller for their name, office location and a phone number to call back and checking that number out carefully. If they won’t provide such basic information, they aren’t likely to be legit.