I thought this would be a good time to look at some of the scams that could plague Americans this year. And while most of you would never fall for these scams, there are many people who do. So please share this information with your friends and family.
1 – Medical Alert Scam: “With promises of a “free” medical alert system, the scam targeted seniors and caretakers and claimed to be offering the system free of charge because a family member or friend had already paid for it. In many cases, seniors were asked to provide their bank account or credit information to “verify” their identity and, as a result, were charged the monthly $35 service fee. The system, of course, never arrived and the seniors were left with a charge they had trouble getting refunded.”
2 – Auction Reseller Scam: “Many people turn to eBay and other online auction sites to sell used items they no longer need, and relatively new electronics seem to do especially well. But scammers have figured out a way to fool sellers into shipping goods without receiving payment. Usually the buyer claims it’s an “emergency” of some sort — a child’s birthday, a member of the military shipping out — and asks the seller to ship the same day. The seller receives an email that looks like it’s from PayPal confirming the payment, but emails are easy to fake. Always confirm payment in your eBay and PayPal accounts before shipping, especially to an overseas address.” (I see people fall for this all the time!)
3 – Arrest Warrant Scam: “In this scam, con artists are taking advantage of technology that can change what is visible on Caller ID, and allowing them to pose as the office of the local sheriff or other law enforcement agency. They call to say there is a warrant out for your arrest, but that you can pay a fine to avoid criminal charges. Of course, these “police” don’t take credit cards; only a wire transfer or prepaid debit card will do. Sometimes these scams seem very personal; the scammer may refer to a loan or other financial matter. It may just be a lucky guess, but don’t be fooled into thinking you are about to be arrested.”
OK. This is Part 1 of the biggest scams underway this spring. In coming weeks, I’ll dig deeper into identity theft scams and specific tactics you can use to prevent identity theft and resulting financial fraud.
Be sure to share these with your friends and family. And pay close attention to your elderly loved ones as they are prime targets for these scams. My Mom got targeted during her senior years and, more than once, I stopped a criminal in his tracks as he was trying to steal from my Mom.
By being aware of the types of scams that are making the rounds – and understanding the psychology that makes them work – we can assist our loved ones in avoiding financial tragedy.
Have you noticed any new scams?
Have any of your friends or loved ones been victimized by a fraudster?
I’d love to hear your story. Email me at [email protected]
As always, be safe and secure!
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