Acting with integrity and high ethical standards in their personal and professional lives is a commitment that Rotarians the world over take to heart. It is part of their responsibility to deal fairly with others and to treat all occupations – especially their own – with due respect. Unfortunately, today’s world sometimes seems replete with scammers who are determined to violate any kind of trust in worthy business practices.
The result is a number of lawless schemes to separate honest people from their hard-earned money. Angie Barnett, president/CEO of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Greater Maryland, recently warned Columbia-Patuxent Rotary members about these most recent scams:
1. Investment and cryptocurrency promise of high financial rewards for little risk.
2. Fake employment offers of high-wage jobs with few required skills.
3. Emergency situations where a friend or family member is supposedly in dire straits and pleads for money.
Angie said there are RED FLAGS that warn about possible business fraud, including:
● If you’re feeling pressured to act quickly, it might be a scam.
● If an offer seems too good to be true, it might be a scam.
● If somebody reaches out claiming to be an authority figure, do your research and make
sure they’re legitimate. It might be a scam.
● If they insist you pay a certain way, usually in gift cards, money orders or digital
payments that can’t be traced or refunded.
● If they tell you NOT to talk to other people who could help you determine the situation
is a scam. The scammer may even keep you on the phone until you follow through on
To all of this good advice, we would add one more safe practice. Keep an eye out for business and professional people who know and live by Rotary’s Four Way Test of tried-and-true ethical behavior.