Fraud, Investments, and Our Elder Parents

Check out “Why Older People are Vulnerable to Fraud & How to Protect Them, a February 2017 New York Times article that describes the ways older adults are susceptible to fraudulent phone calls and offers, especially when it concerns investments. It also  makes suggestions about what people who get entangled in these offers can do. The report shares a study conducted by AARP.

Just about everyone receives telephone calls asking them to use their money to do something. The trick as one ages, I believe, is to avoid making any initial decision over the telephone and to be fairly abrupt or rude  — or just hang up — when answering the phone and discovering that a caller is attempting to sell something. The problem is, most of the elders in my life would never think of being rude — it is not a part of their personal DNA.

Most Interesting Findings   Continue reading

College Loan & IRS Scams — I Received Both Phone Calls Today

As if there are not enough scams, here’s another one — a college loan scam. I haven’t had college loans for years and years, but I am wondering if there will soon be a parent or grandparent component to the scam. Anyway, one more caller with malicious intent to be aware of when you answer the phone.

But it’s also the time of year for tax scammers. Make sure your parents know that if they get a phone call about IRS, they should NOT believe the caller. You can watch this video, posted at the IRS website, with them.

The Scams that Scare Grandparents About Their Grandkids

Click on the image to take the AARP Fraud Quiz.

Click here to take the AARP Fraud Quiz.

Recently a friend of mine told me about the grandparent scam. She described receiving a call at her home from a person who claimed to have a message from their granddaughter. The caller told my friend was that her  granddaughter was stranded in a foreign country and desperately needed financial help. Another friend of mine, a granddad, received a call  from a hysterical female claiming to actually be his granddaughter.

Now I have received a lot of scam calls, and I’ve shared the information with my parents and with lots of other people on this blog. I am, however, stunned that I’ve missed this one.                        Continue reading

IRS Scam Phone … Watch Out!

IMposter Phone Call experience

Lisa Weintraub Schifferle, an attorney at the FCC, shares her experience with an IRS scam call that she got at home.

The woman on the phone recording was serious and calm, but she said that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)  was calling me with my last warning. I was told to press a number to speak with a live person and there might be a penalty if I did not answer. And yes, this woman sounded like she knew what she was talking about

Sigh!  Here we go again. I am so tired of phone scams. In this particular case I just slammed down the phone, but it was easy to imaging a worried elder following up the call by pressing the number to get a “real IRS person.” Sometimes the scammer leaves a message asking a person to call back. If you Google IRS phone scams there are some pretty funny recordings of people talking to these scammers.

Note: The IRS  will never call you with a “last warning.” In fact, IRS probably won’t ever call you at all  because the agency uses the U.S. postal service to communicate.

Here’s what’s posted on the IRS Site about the phone scam.     Continue reading

Why Can’t We Do Something About Phone Scams???

Visit the Federal Trade Commission to learn more about telephone scams and discover  how to protect yourself.

Visit the Federal Trade Commission to learn more about telephone scams and discover how to protect your aging parents and yourself.

I detest scam telephone calls, and I am specially upset about how these scammers take advantage of elders.

I am off work during much of the time this week, and today alone I’ve received three scam telephone calls — two from the people who claimed that my Microsoft Windows has a glitch and one from Rachel at cardholders services. It’s only 10:00 AM in the morning.

Why can’t we put a stop these calls? I know how to identify them and basically hang up — but they are truly irritating, not to mention a huge waste of time. Moreover, while I have the knowledge to ignore the phone calls when I feel like it (or sometimes give the swindlers a hard time), plenty of other people, including many elders are victims of fraud.                           Continue reading

More on Fraud: AARP’s Fraud Watch and Other Helpful Sites

Click to visit AARP’s Fraud Watch and sign up for email alerts.

Click to visit AARP’s Fraud Watch and sign up for email alerts.

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.

Continue reading