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

Windows Security Message Fraud Telephone Calls — It Finally Happened to Me!

I am so excited that I received this scam phone call so I can share exactly what happened! Lots of these calls come during the day when senior adults are at home.

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 8.37.50 PMThe phone rings. The phone caller identifies himself as a Microsoft security officer and tells me that my computer is sending out messages to Microsoft that indicate it has a terrible virus. He offers to help. All I have to do is open the door (my computer’s door, that is) so he can fix my computer. It’s a scam, but I decided to lead him on.

When I tell the caller that my computer has up-to-date security and virus protection, he says that it is not working, and he is urgent about the possibility that I may lose data, personal information, or worse still, private financial files

I wonder whether I should I mention to him that I have a Mac computer and that the operating system is not run by Microsoft so it cannot possibly be sending out error messages.

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