Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

"Will the FDIC really arrest me for an unpaid debt?"

Bird of Paradise flower with an extra set of petals. Actually, maybe make that two extra sets?

Y’all, I think the bird of paradise in our backyard may be trying to compensate for something.

We are on Day Eight of The Howells All Being Home At Once, and Day Four of Santa Clara County Residents All Huddled Up Together in Their Separate Spaces.

FDIC warns of new scam in which scammers pretend to be from the FDIC

“You know what I need right now? A threatening call from someone pretending to be the FDIC telling me to give them all of my personal financial information or else.”

No One, Ever

Yesterday I got an email from the FDIC warning about a new type of scam in which imposters try to use our collective anxiety about our personal finances to strip us of whatever financial security we have left.

These cretins are using email, text, social media, and, of course, phone calls, letters, and faxes to trick people nationwide into sending them their personal financial data, including account numbers, Social Security numbers, and remaining cash reserves.

Armed with replicas of the FDIC’s logo and occasionally the names of actual FDIC employees, these scammers may ask you to:

  • “Confirm” or “update” financial account information
  • Pay them to help you investigate or recover losses from a previous scam
  • File insurance claims, submit a bankruptcy claimant verification form, cash certified checks on their behalf, or confirm a stock holding or investment purchases
  • Pay taxes on prize winnings
  • Send them digital currency or gift cards to cover an unpaid debt under threat of immediate arrest or lawsuit

Don’t fall for it. Report it.

The FDIC never:

  • Sends unsolicited correspondence asking for money or sensitive personal information
  • Threatens consumers
  • Demands payment by gift card, wire transfers, or digital currency
  • Contacts you asking for personal details, such as bank account information, credit and debit card numbers, social security numbers, or passwords

So don’t give that information out. If in doubt about whether a communication is really from the FDIC, call the FDIC Call Center at 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342), Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EST).

Instead, protect others by reporting the scam to your local law enforcement office or field office of the FBI. And if the scam involved the U.S. Postal Service, report it to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service too.

Protect yourself.

Today’s pandemic project

The completed tea and coffee station.

This is for you, Shilpi. (Photo: Shala Howell)

On the off chance my landlords follow my blog, I would like to point out that no, I did not paint those pots of herbs. They are peel-and-stick wall decals made by Roommates. As far as I can tell, I can actually remove them without damaging the wood or leaving a sticky residue (yes, I tested them on a hidden spot first).

I don’t know how long I’ll actually want to keep them on the cart, but for now, those herb pots add a much-needed dose of cheerfulness to our kitchen.

Today’s tidbit of Twitter humor

You may have noticed, I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter lately. I’ve also been spending a lot of time curating my Twitter feed to provide less doom and more humor. Sawyer North (@MrDarcyExplains) is one of my favorite finds.

Editorial note

I’ve begun rolling out those education resources I promised. Yesterday, I published a brief survey of options for Scheduling and Course Planning, posted an overview of how I plan to approach the problem of corralling this information over time, and replaced the Public Art quicklink in my main menu with an Educational Resources one.

Over the coming days, I’ll add separate posts listing resources for reading, science, art, math, social studies, and believe it or not, field trips. As always, I welcome your input.

How about you? How are you holding up?

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