2021 Was A Really Wild Year When It Came To Scams In Amarillo
Every year it seems like scammers get smarter, and their methods get more sophisticated. But for 2021, it seems like it was a really wild year for Amarillo.
Facebook Scams In Canyon And Amarillo
One of the most prevalent scams we saw this last summer was one involving Facebook. As we were all trying to get back to normal, so were the scammers.
In 2021 we saw fake Facebook accounts pop up pretending to be businesses in Amarillo and Canyon. They would send you a friend request and tell you that you won some free stuff.
Then, you'd follow a link and fill out some personal info. That's a big red flag.
Several businesses in the area had to make posts on Facebook explaining that they weren't even doing a contest. It was a major bummer for those who took the bait.
The Thompson Park Pool Scam; Before It Even Opened
The Saga of Thompson Park Pool is one of my favorite stories from 2021. The delays. The controversy. More delays. Then...it opened. Briefly.
My favorite part of it all might be something you forgot about. Scammers started pretending to be "Thompson Park Pool" before the facility even opened, and decided to go for the gullible on Facebook.
The official Thompson Park Pool Facebook page put out a notice that they weren't doing any contests, and they had awarded no winners.
There Were A Lot Of Pandemic Related Scams In Amarillo In 2021
Scammers never waste a good tragedy. That includes the ongoing pandemic.
In 2021, we saw scammers using email to lure people in with vaccine appointments. There were also the fake vaccination cards.
Of course, relief payments and "stimulus checks" were used often at the start of the year by scammers to go after the gullible. They even pretended to be Amarillo Public Health Department at one point.
Warrant And Police Scams In 2021
We saw a fair number of scams pretending to be APD this year. Scammers even started using spoofed numbers to look like area police departments.
There was also the "grand jury" scam. Back when every week saw headlines about a grand jury, scammers pounced trying to convince people they missed "grand jury duty."
My favorite one involving law enforcement was the APD t-shirt scam. Scammers pretended to be APD, and were selling t-shirts through text messages.
Yeah, that one actually happened.
There was also one involving Border Patrol, claiming that your identity had been used at the border crossing.
The Great Porno Spam Text Message Scam Of 2021
I still get one of these risque text messages from time-to-time.
Remember when everyone with a certain cellphone service provider started getting triple-X rated text messages? The text messages would include a link and usually originated from an email address.
For months it seemed like a plague we would never be rid of. You just hoped your kids didn't get to the notifications on your phone before you did.
Then one day, it just seemed to stop.
That wasn't the only cellphone related scam. There was also the time scammers pretended to be AT&T, promising free stuff to unsuspecting victims.
Free Food, Work, And Library Scams
2021 also saw plenty of free food scams. One of the biggest ones was the Texas Roadhouse scam promising vouchers if you shared and commented on a Facebook post.
Scammers also set up job listings on Facebook hoping to lure in those desperately seeking employment.
Then, there was the scam where the scammers pretended to be Amarillo Public Library.
Protect Yourself In 2022
As the old saying goes; if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If something seems a little odd, go with your gut and ask questions before giving up any personal info.