How to Outsmart a Fraudster

Hands on the Money

Frauds and scams have escalated. Here are a few tips I received from my bank that will help keep us aware of scams. The following note appeared in my email this morning and I hope you take precautions to remain safe. "Carol, we've become aware of a widespread scam targeting bank customers nationwide, including ours. Please use caution when discussing your bank accounts over the phone as you could be chatting with a scammer, disguised as a Bank employee. Keep in mind, while we do make follow-up calls occasionally, we don't call our customers out of the blue." Here are

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Tips to Reduce Financial Elder Abuse

Tips to Reduce Financial Elder Abuse

Each day there are more and more scams affecting the ones we love.  Financial elder abuse is on the rise as scammers continue to target vulnerable seniors.  With increased information on the Internet today, more of our personal information can be used to take advantage of us.  Here are some great tips to reduce financial elder abuse: Good general tips/reminders to prevent fraud: Never give out personal information to anyone on the phone, mail or internet Never respond to an offer that you do not understand Ask for it in writing and pay only when you have received a performed

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How to Spot Financial Elder Abuse

How to Spot Financial Elder Abuse

Last week's column discussed telephone fraudsters and other senior scams to watch out for, especially this time of year. Unfortunately, older individuals are easy targets because we're lonely and miss the constant companionship we enjoyed at work. Or we're lonely because the spouse has passed and the adult children have busy lives. How to Spot Financial Elder Abuse That leaves seniors open to a seemingly pleasant, trustworthy, and slick professionals who use the telephone in a friendly and engaging manner and traps us with kind words and attention. Scammers are smart and well-trained. They know exactly what to say to get

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How to keep your mobile device away from criminals

It’s a beautiful morning and you decide to visit your favorite beverage shop to enjoy a tasty treat. With your go-juice in hand, you move to an empty table and sit down. You pull out your mobile phone to catch up on emails and read the latest news when you realize you forgot to get napkins. Leaving your coffee and phone on the table, you walk to the nearby counter, pluck two napkins from a holder, and return to your seat. As you approach your table, you move to set the napkins next to your coffee when you realize something

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How to Stop Money Scammers

How to Stop Money Scammers

Why scammers get away with their crimes – and what you can do to stop them! It’s not always easy to avoid scams. Criminals are tricky, aggressive, and they’ll say whatever they have to that will convince someone to hand over their hard-earned money. If one of these scoundrels rips you off, what will you do about it? How to Stop Money Scammers Everyone has the potential to become a victim of a scam, including you. I’ve seen countless stories come across my desk of victims who refused to believe that scammers ripped them off until they’ve lost everything. Some

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This Grandparent Scam Continues to Sweep Nation

The next time you receive a call from a relative asking for money, be sure that person is who he or she claims to be. In a recent scam, a senior received a call from a person pretending to be her grandson. The caller told the woman he had been arrested and needed bail money to be released from jail. To prove he was telling the truth, the caller handed the phone to another man who claimed to be a detective. The detective said the woman's grandson was indeed in jail and would only be released if she mailed $10,000

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What is Mom’s Password?

What is Mom's Password?

Let’s face it. We live in a sophisticated, technologically driven world whether we like it or not.  Like most things in life, that happens to be both good and bad news. What is Mom's Password? But with technology comes passwords, usernames,  and PIN numbers. Not only are we instructed to keep these in a “safe” place, we are challenged with the task, on a daily and sometimes hourly basis, of remembering what password goes with what. What is Mom's Password? So how do we keep all our passwords and usernames straight while we gracefully age and our short term memories grow a bit

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Warning signs of identity theft

Here’s what to look for if you think an identity thief has targeted you: A strange charge on your credit card bill When reviewing your bank account, do you ever notice a charge that you don’t remember making? Even a small discrepancy can indicate fraud. Sometimes criminals make a test charge just to be sure a transaction will go through before making a bigger move. Credit card bills stop coming in the mail If you didn’t opt-in to paperless billing but some of your mail isn’t showing up, now’s a good time to give that company a call. Identity thieves

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How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

How is identity theft committed? Your personal information can easily fall into the wrong hands. Often, thieves search through trash for sensitive documents, but increasingly information is stolen from online sources. You might fall prey to a fraudulent phishing email that steals your information, or someone might use a “skimmer” to take your credit card number. Your information can also be leaked from companies you do business with, or hackers may access your wireless internet signal. Your personal information can fall into the wrong hands in many ways. In the past we thought of identity theft in physical terms: someone

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