June 4, 2019

Congratulations. You’ve Been Selected – Don’t Get Scammed!

This message was shared with me by the Simi Valley Police department and I thought it valuable information so I wanted to share it with you.

Many older Americans grew up in an era when doing the right thing meant helping family members, reporting for jury duty, and paying your taxes. Unfortunately, scammers know this and they are preying upon people’s integrity and sense of duty to steal from them.

Here are some common scams to watch out for:

Be suspicious of anyone who offers you a chance for quick and easy wealth.

Be wary of exaggerated claims for health and medical products, such as cures for cancer or arthritis. Before buying any cure-alls, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or clinic.

Don’t give any details about your credit cards to phone solicitors even if they offer you gifts, a free vacation, or a sweepstakes prize.

Don’t give credit cards, checkbooks, or savings account passbooks to your housekeeper or caretaker. Don’t make an employee a joint owner of your bank account or your property.

Never make cash transactions in secret. Discuss any large transaction with your banker or a trusted family member.

Grandparent scams obtain some personal information about you, including the names and locations of family members, one of which is a grandchild. Scammers will call you posing as your grandchild with a plausible story about getting in trouble and needing money. In their desire to help, you rush to send bail money, money to pay off a debt or to pay for medical expenses.

Lottery scams try to convince you that you have won money in a foreign lottery. A reasonable-sounding person explains that all you have to do is pay the nominal taxes up front and they will send your winnings to you.

IRS scams are when the scammer calls and says you are overdue on your taxes. The scammer demands money and threatens with an arrest if payment is not made.

Charity scams is when money is solicited for fake charities. This often occurs after a natural disaster, during an election, or another traumatic event.

If you think you have been the victim of a scam, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to talk about it with someone you trust. You are not alone, and there are people who can help. Doing nothing could only make it worse. Keep handy the phone numbers to your police department and your bank if money has been taken from your accounts.