Another Financial Writer Admits Getting Scammed

'Put your smugness away,' advises Michelle Singletary
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2024 3:25 PM CST
Another Financial Writer Admits Falling for a Scam
A financial columnist gave her PIN number to a scam artist.   (Getty / Lari Bat)

Last week, a personal-finance writer for New York Magazine detailed how she'd been scammed out of $50,000. People were incredulous someone in her profession could be so gullible. In the Washington Post, fellow financial-advice writer Michelle Singletary writes that she had to "stifle my own self-righteousness" upon hearing the story—until she remembered that she'd once been scammed, too. It happened more than 20 years ago when a thief broke into her car and stole the purse she'd left in there. He then called her pretending to be a bank manager, saying that her purse had been retrieved. And he was smooth.

"Mad at myself and sobbing, the impostor said I should take a few minutes to calm down," recalls Singletary. "He was professional, reassuring, and compassionate." After winning her confidence, the fake manager asked for Singletary's PIN number in order to cancel her bank card and issue a new one. A relieved Singletary gave it to him, and he promptly stole $500 from her account. It surely would have been more if not for a daily limit.

"I got my money back, thank goodness, but I spent a lot of time afterward berating myself for failing to spot what in retrospect were red flags," she writes. "If only I had kept my cool." And for those who responded with condescension to the New York Magazine writer, Singletary has some advice: "Put your smugness away, because the swindles are becoming more elaborate, and you may find you're not too clever to be conned." Read the full column. (Or read more about the other writer's scam.)

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