Women of maturity have been considered to be easy marks for years. But this particular viewpoint took hold long before we boomers made it to our fifties and beyond. Not exactly the sweet yet uniformed granny types, we’re only beginning to own our true feistiness and old gal bodaciousness!
Nevertheless, modern gadgetry is creating new scams and schemes that tech savvy thieves could use to target you. I’m not an alarmist nor do I consider the world to be a dangerous place but, when I got an email warning of these types of crimes, I thought I’d pass them along.
Here are two ways you may be vulnerable:
Your GPS: People attending a professional football game returned to their car to find it had been broken into. Things stolen from the car included a garage door remote control, some money, and a GPS, which had been prominently mounted on the dashboard.
When the victims got home, they found their house had been ransacked and just about everything of value had been stolen. The thieves had used the GPS to guide them to the house. They then used the garage remote control to open the garage door and gain entry into the house. The thieves knew the owners were at the football game, they knew what time the game was scheduled to finish, and so they knew how much time they had to clean out the house.
Something to consider if you have a GPS—don’t put your home address in it. Put a nearby address (like a store or gas station). You can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else will know where you live.
Your Cell Phone: A woman’s handbag, which contained her cell phone, was stolen. Twenty minutes later when she called her hubby from a pay phone to tell him what had happened, he told her that he’d received her text asking about the pin number to their bank account. “I replied a little while ago,” he reported.
When the couple rushed down to the bank, the staff told them all of their money had been withdrawn. The thief had actually used the stolen cell phone to text “hubby” in the contact list and, thanks to the helpful husband, got hold of the pin number. Within 20 minutes, he had wiped out their entire account.
So for safety’s sake, avoid using names like “Home,” “Hubby,” “Dad,” “Mom,” etc. And very importantly, when sensitive info is being asked through texts, confirm by calling back. Also, when you’re being texted by friends or family to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back to confirm that the message came from them. If you don’t reach them, be very careful about going places to meet ‘family and friends’ who text you.
The above information both surprised and upset me. Not being a doom and gloom type, I hesitated passing it along–but a word of warning is best to keep us feisty gals on our toes and in the know. So enjoy your gadgets but do so in a way that won’t make you vulnerable. None of us wants to be an easy mark!