While most people can spot these scams a mile away, many scammers target seniors and others who may be more vulnerable and unable to detect a scam.

Below are a few helpful tips to help avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

TIP #1: Spot Tell-Tale Signs of Scams

Scammers often try to scare people by pretending to be government agencies (such as the Social Security Administration or IRS).  They often target peoples’ fears, such as something to do with their money, income, or loved ones.  If you receive phone calls, e-mails, and text messages with any claims of urgent and important alerts that require you to provide financial information or assistance, that should be a red flag warning that it may be a scam and to investigate the matter further if you think there may be a real threat or issue that requires your attention. Requests to wire, provide your social security number or banking information are all huge red flags!

TIP #2: Don’t Believe Your Caller ID

Scammers have also find ways to falsify their identity on caller ID, so just because your caller ID may identify someone as being a legitimate agency or person, don’t assume that to be true.

TIP #3: Beware of “Get Rich Quick” Schemes

If you're contacted about fake winning lottery tickets or about other "get rich quick" claims where folks ask you to help collect your winnings (or offer to split their winnings if you assist them), don't fall for it!  They may ask you to pay a "reimbursable" fee and even send you a check in advance to show their "good faith".  The bank may make your funds available before their checks clear (spoiler alert: it won't!).  DO NOT fall for these schemes!

TIP #4: When In Doubt, Check It Out (and Ask for Help!)

Whenever in doubt, err on the side of caution and ask someone you trust and who would have your best interest in mind to help you determine whether something is a scam.  If you get a call about your grandchild needing financial help, try calling back your grandchild directly (or call their parents).  It will not hurt you to do your due diligence to determine the validity of a call, e-mail or text before giving up personal and financial information or money. 

We hope that these tips can help you or someone that you know.  Feel free to pass this article and the following links along to anyone you know that may benefit.  You may also wish to visit some of the following websites for more information:

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
Post A Comment