Financial Scam Victim: Financial Columnist?

This is more than a little weird. While I am sympathetic and angry that this wrongdoing happens, I can’t be the only one that finds this odd, that a person is paid to write about money, and didn’t recognize this.

In February 2024, Charlotte Cowles, a financial advice columnist for New York Magazine, wrote a report about being scammed out of $50,000 by people posing as government officials. Cowles’s story is about how she received an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be Amazon. She then received calls from people claiming to be from the Federal Trade Commission and then the CIA. Cowles’s story includes claims that her home and family are being surveilled, her laptop has been hacked, and she is in imminent danger.

Cowles’s story is not unique, and at least 21 million Americans were scammed in 2023, according to a recent survey by Gallup. Cowles says that keeping quiet doesn’t benefit the person who fell for a scam, it only protects the scammers. She encourages people to reach out if they’re worried they’re being scammed, and be brave enough to do the same if it ever happens to you.

Use Common Sense

  • There is no such thing as a direct, incoming call, from any federal agency.

  • The other side of the coin is that I don’t live in constant paranoia. If someone actually targeted you specifically, then guess what? If that was the case, then they already have your information. All of it. So nah, go about your day.