Check out Michelle Singletary’s Washington Post column, Let’s Band Together to Stop Scammers, a terrific piece that appeared today (September 28, 2014) and a perfect follow-up to my most recent blog post, Windows Security Fraud Phone Calls.
My piece shared a recent experience with a telephone caller who tried to get me to share personal information because of problems (fraudulent) on my computer. Singletary also shared information about a phone call that she received, and she also quoted many people who also experienced fraudulent scams or even fell for them.
Whether you are an aging parent or an adult child, this is an important column, because in addition to sharing her experience with a similar scammer’s phone call, Singletary also provides information about the AARP’s Fraud Watch Network, a developing site at the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), that enables people to check out and ask questions about potential scams.
At Fraud Watch can check out the latest weird phone calls or emails, read the #fraudwatch up-to-date Twitter feed (along the right and side of the page), make a comment, and even sign up for email “scam alerts.” You can even take a quiz to find out how scam-savvy you are. (I missed one and I consider myself really knowledgeable on this topic.)
Singletary’s is right about getting everyone to band together when it comes to phone and Internet scams. We need to educate ourselves and be prepared for these bandits who target our worries when they strike. The most important thing to drill into our heads and our parents — before we get anymore calls — is that no reputable company will even call and ask for our personal information, account numbers, or passwords on the phone — not banks, not IRS, not the police, not anyone.
Other Places Where You Can Check Out Scammer Information
- Snopes.com fraud page — an excellent Internet and digital information website.
- Scamfinder at the Cleveland Plain Dealer website
- The Top 10 Scams Targeting Seniors at the National Council on Aging (NCOA) website
- Stop Senior Scams at the Philadelphia Corporation for the Aging
Those of us with aging parents need to be on top of this topic and be sure to protect them, ourselves, and everyone’s finances. It is relatively easy to safeguard ourselves from the criminals who seek to take advantage of us — as long as we educate ourselves. Read the entire article by Michelle Singletary.