How to avoid common scams using patience and your trusted relationships

Scams scammers and fraudsters; many of us have suffered financial losses in one way or another to the unscrupulous. In this article I am going to show you how to avoid common scams using patience and your trusted relationships.

Receiving a call from an unknown caller

Patience

Patience is a virtue

Cato the Elder

In any scam, the scammer usually projects a sense of urgency, often times presenting a threatening situation that you must immediately respond to or suffer undesirable consequences. Your delaying action coupled with the involvement of a key relationship may help you thwart a rip off.

In addition, if you have a serious financial or legal problem, you are already well aware of it.

Eric Ten Broeck, MBA

If you are not certain about the nature of the matter or the person(s) contacting you, delay a response. If someone or something in your world is truly wrong, then chances are, more then one person will be trying to contact you. In addition, if you have a serious financial or legal problem, you are already well aware of it.

In your financial life your key relationships are with your accountant, banker, lawyer, and financial advisor. Here, I am highlighting banking relationships. Scammers often find a way to put you off guard by creating a sense of urgency or by inducing a mindset of fear.

Phishing and Banking Scams

Lets start with your banking relationship. Many people are moving to banks that only do business online. I am not in favor of these. I am not suggesting that online only banks are financially unsound. However there is no one you can see face to face and start a relationship with. My recommendation is ask around to find a bank that has a local presence with and staff that has longevity. If your bank fits that description, great!

Introduce yourself to the branch manager

The next step is to introduce yourself to the branch manager and get his or her business card. Take a picture of the card, and enter the information in your contacts. Make sure the manager’s email is in you email contacts. You can even send a short email saying “Dear Ms. Smith it was nice to meet you today at the Mulberry Street branch located in Scranton, Pennsylvania.” Lastly, try to do walk in business and say hello to the manager and key staff.

How does your banking relationship help you with scams? Lets take the email phishing scams that look like you are being contacted by your bank urging you to take action. How do you respond? Take a moment and ask is this truly my bank contacting me about misplaced funds or unauthorized transfers?

First, if the email looks bogus or fake delete it without opening it. Then call your banker and see if there is an issue. Secondly, you can always ask a legitimate person to resend an email. Therefore, if you think it may be an issue in need of your attention; here is a suggested email response.

“Dear _____, thank you for your email, I am not familiar with this situation, I am copying Ms. Smith, Branch Manager of XYZ Bank by this email to see if she can help us investigate this matter. Can you please give me your address, phone number and normal business hours so that we may properly and timely respond this matter?”

Your email reply to a phishing scam

Remember, you have the Bank Manager’s information at your disposal because you have already sent the Bank Manager a follow-up an email. I also recommend not logging into your bank until your bank has had a chance to reply and you are certain this matter has been resolved.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scams

This where your relationship with your accountant comes in handy. These scams originate as phone calls and or emails. Scammers claim to IRS Agents. They claim you have unpaid taxes and threaten severe penalties an/or enforcement actions. And some of these calls appear to originate from the Washington D.C. (202) xxx-xxxx area code. Then they instruct you to make a bank or credit card payment to satisfy your IRS debt.

How to bust the IRS scam – Firstly, the IRS never emails taxpayers, they rarely if ever call by phone. If you have an issue with the IRS, you will receive a letter from them. That letter will explain any deficiency, give you a time period in which to reply and provide a phone number by which to contact the IRS. If you really have a severe problem they may show up at your place of business. But the agents will properly identify themselves and clearly identify the matter they are there for. Also, if you truly have an issue with the IRS, chances are you are already well aware of it.

Remember, people are rarely imprisoned over income tax matters. And if they are it is after a lengthy investigation, prosecution and conviction taking months if not years.

Here is what you do when you are contacted by persons claiming to by IRS agents.

Scammer: “Sir/Madam we are going to seize your bank account and initiate enforcement activity against you if you do not pay now.”

You: After taking a moment to think about this call you reply:

“Thank you for your call Mr. IRS Agent, my accountant handles these matters for me. Can I have your number and he/she/they will call you back as soon as he has a chance? And can I please have your badge number so I can write it down?”

Your accountant, if he or she is a CPA and/or Enrolled Agent, has priority access to the IRS. It may take them a few days to reach the IRS by phone, but once in touch they can find out if you have any legitimate problems. Remember there is a lengthy process the IRS has to undertake before your assets are seized and/or you are put in any kind of legal jeopardy, your patience will pay off.

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Relaunch of my Blog

This year 2022 I have made a commitment to this Blog. I have had as they say “fits and starts” since 2014. Back then I was lucky enough to have a talented intern from LaSalle University by the name of Alex Miller. Alex set up this WordPress platform, edited copy, and engineered recordings. In this article I will talk about the relaunch of my blog.

Picture of a Space Shuttle launch as rocket blasts through the clouds
The Shuttle was a reusable space vehicle capable being relaunched many times

Encouragement from a friend to write a weekly column

Roughly five years ago, Jim Monaghan my high school friend, began a weekly Sports podcast. I have to give him credit, he gets high grades for consistently posting a quality show with quality content. Here is a link his latest show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gklr-_DYick .

In the recent years, Jim’s brother Stephen Monaghan joined the production, and now they broadcast as Sports with Mono and Mono. It is MonO instead of MonA, because their hometown friends from Oakland New Jersey tagged Jim and his brothers with the “O” back in the day. MONO it is! I learned this Monaghan trivia because Jim pointed it out in his relaunch blog article, “Rookie-Writer.” http://www.jpmsportsertainment.com/2022/01/24/rookie-writer/.

Mono plus Mono equals 41 Sportscasting Families

I googled “sportscaster brothers” and found this article identifying 40 plus sports casting families; https://tinyurl.com/2p98bp84. It is an interesting list of families, and now I am happy to say that there are 41 sportscasting families in the business.

Blood Harmony

In singing they call it “Blood Harmony.” When you watch, you will see their show has a cadence and flow that only two brothers can pull off. They do; keep things interesting, talk on a variety of subjects, and give an historical perspective. They don’t; step in front of each other, belabor a point, and don’t argue at length when they disagree with each other.

Now it is my turn to relaunch

Jim and I where on the phone trading thoughts ideas, and I said Jim if you have a blog why don’t try writing a weekly column. And a few weeks later, Jim is writing a regular column. And his response to me is in so many words, is hey Eric where is Blog and weekly column?

So here is my second weekly column. And in this column as I announce my relaunch I have decided on focusing on “lifestyle” businesses. I look forward to working with Dr. Jeffrey Alstete and his colleagues in academia to explore and refine this topic. In the coming weeks I will be reviewing their important contributions to this space.

Tell me how I can help you

I want to help my fellow brother and sister business people launch a successful endeavor.

I believe people can actually have a “life” and a good and fulfilling life if they are in business for themselves. And many of these good things are not necessarily financial or monetary, but intangible. We will explore these intangible benefits in future article.

In the meantime please email me at eric@etenentrepreneur.info with your thoughts, ideas and comments. Thank you for reading my Blog.

Eric Ten Broeck

What not to say in a job interview

How hard is it to change Yep to Yes?

In speaking or writing, we are talking about ONE letter.

E. Ten Broeck

I am sure you have this heard many times before… but in a job interview every thing you say and do is under consideration and is being analyzed by your potential employer.

At the time of this writing workers are in short supply, and employers may lower the bar in terms of their hiring standards. Ignore this fact for now. You always want to make a good impression. Even if you are not offered the job, or decide not to take the position offered, employers take mental and written notes of candidates that may get future consideration. The point is that, even if there is not an opening for you or your decline an offer; you may have another opportunity in the future with company/firm if you make a favorable impression.

Here are a few words and phrases that will leave a poor impression.

Word or Phrase Replace with
Let me knowI look forward to your reply.
When may I call you next?
May I please ask what are the next steps?
YepYes, or yes please. 
Some people even text Yep, how hard is it to change Yep to Yes?
What?
Huh?
Pardon me, I did not hear what you said.
Like I said
 
If you say this to someone, you are implying that they:
 
a) did not hear you the first time,
b) they heard what you said and already forgot and/or
c) they are incapable of comprehending what you had said.
I might have mentioned this before…
OR
Please, I just mentioned this to you…
 
Also remember that some people have true hearing deficiencies.
Table offensive words and suitable replacements

Interview with John A. Brown – Author of Dinning Roulette The Truth About Restaurants From The Inside Out.

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John A. Brown has over 30 years experience as a restaurant owner.  He worked in, owned and/or managed everything from astand-alone enterprises to establishments that are part of multi-billion dollar companies.  You will quickly learn that John A. Brown cares about YOU. He cares about your safety as a patron, he cares about those employed in the industry, and he cares about those who are thinking about, or have become restaurant owners.  He now runs. Brown & Associates Restaurant Consulting, and be reached by emailbestmanager@usa.com

Edited and Produced by Alex Miller

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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Interview with Alex Miller of Indie Band – Secondary

august cover art

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I had a chance to catch up with Alex Miller, lead singer of Secondary to talk about their newest release and the process that goes into being a band today. Secondary is a four piece rock band comprised of Alex Miller (Vocals/Guitar), Quin Savant (Vocals/Bass), John Nalie (Guitar), and Kevin Shishko (Drums). The Kennett Square based group is influenced by bands such as New Found Glory and Nirvana and has a unique sound which blends different elements from both the pop, rock, and grunge spectrums. Their first release, Things That Don’t Exist veiled the band in a young and cliche sound which was then catalyzed by a a year of life experience and matured the group’s sound into their latest release August. Secondary’s music can be found at secondarypa.bandcamp.com

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