If you have a cell phone and live in Maine, there's no doubt that at some point in time a person, or a bot, has attempted to scam you.

For most of us young and hip folks, we quickly recognize when something is not right.

However, some of our more mature population often don't realize something is wrong until it's too late.

I'm no stranger to text and phishing scams as my number is easily available on my business page. And it certainly does increase the frequency of these attempted scam attacks on me.

Over the weekend while we were away camping, I got a strange text from a 757 area code that I didn't recognize. It was from someone (or something) claiming to be a woman named Tiffany with a sick dog. She said her dog didn't have a good appetite and wanted to know if I thought he was okay.

She kept referring to me as Dr. Mary. When I told her I was not Dr. Mary she profusely apologized for having the wrong number and told me how kind I was. She then wanted to know more about me including my name and what city I lived in. You can see where this is going.

Scammers will stop at absolutely nothing to obtain your personal information and use it to their own benefit. Obviously, in this scenario, I didn't provide any personal info as I knew it was a phishing attempt.

Amy Nofziger, director of victim support for the AARP Fraud Watch Network, says in part,

If you own a mobile phone, it’s likely that you’ve received a mysterious text from someone who acts as if they know you. But even though you quickly figure out that the person isn’t a real acquaintance, out of politeness — or curiosity — you might end up interacting with them anyway.

Amy also went on to explain how this same thing has literally happened to her before and said about the experience in part,

"I once received a text from someone who seemed to be trying to reach a veterinarian to make an urgent appointment for a sick dog. When I responded out of concern, the scammer quickly transitioned to talking about crypto. I've also received an “Oops, wrong number!” text from a likely scammer pretending to be a woman attempting to contact her yoga instructor."

So the next time that you, or an older loved one, gets a text message that makes zero sense from a number you don't recognize (or even one you do!) take extra caution before engaging. And remember to never share personal information with someone you don't know!

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