Scamming older adults has become big business. According to the American Journal for Public Health, an estimated 5 percent of seniors are hoodwinked by criminals every year, and that statistic is thought to be a steep underestimate since so many scams go unreported. To stem the tide of seniors unknowingly giving $36 billion to scammers annually, it’s important for retirees and their loved ones to get savvy on the subject. THE 2 MOST COMMON WAYS CRIMINALS STEAL FROM SENIORS ADVANCED FEE FRAUD The most common con in 2017 and 2018 was the classic “You’ve won a sweepstakes!” scam. Victims are told they’ve won some exorbitant amount of money, but they must pay a fee to receive the prize. After the “fee” is paid, victims receive a fake check in the mail, but by the time it bounces, the scammers are gone and they’ve taken the money. If you ever receive a contract from an unknown entity out of nowhere, you should start seeing red flags. Unless you remember entering a contest, there is no chance you’ve won something. And it’s vital to understand that it is never safe to give out financial information over the phone or via email. COMPUTER SOFTWARE SERVICE FRAUD This type of scam is slightly more sophisticated. First, a hacker will call a victim and claim to be a member of a tech support team AND HOW TO SPOT THEM Here are the two of the most common scams older folks fall prey to — and how to avoid them.
or an employee from a trusted company like Microsoft or Apple. Then, they’ll tell the victim there is a problem with their phone or computer and that if they cooperate with the “tech support” representative, they can sort it out. They may also ask you to install a piece of software on your device or provide credit card information to “validate your software.” The fact is that well-known tech companies will never send unsolicited emails to ask for your personal or financial information, and they definitely won’t ask you to install some shady software on your computer. If you ever receive a call out of the blue from “Microsoft,” hang up the phone immediately. The first step to stopping these criminals in their tracks is to be aware of their tactics. With these tips in your arsenal, you’ll be able to defend yourself and your bank account effectively.
LOCAL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT
M&M Hardware is run by Scott Campbell and family. It is a local, family-owned business providing supplies for your everyday projects. The best thing about M&M Hardware is their friendly atmosphere and their willingness to help out. If you need help with an upcoming Spring Project, give M&M Hardware a call at 740.264.5574.
This newsletter is for informational purposes only and no legal advice is intended. Be sure to consult with this law firm if you have a specific question about your situation. And remember Edward and Jeff don’t take any unplanned inbound telephone or in-person meetings, we believe that each case deserves our undivided attention.
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