Categorized | Opinion

Don’t Fall For a Trick

By David Peel

Many elderly residents are victimized every day by folks calling or emailing them and tricking them out of their information.

Some in their golden years are lonely at times, and a friendly voice of a person who seems nice is not threatening to them. Here are some clues to listen for that indicate you are being scammed and that you should hang up or delete the information right away:

“You’ve been specially selected to hear this exclusive offer.”

“We are verifying your information at the bank.”

“You’ve won a valuable free prize.”

“Your account has been misused. We need to verify your social security number.”

“This investment is low-risk and provides great profit.”

“Can you just read me the numbers off your credit card?”

“You’ve just won a contest, and if you pay ‘shipping and handling’ or a ‘gift tax,’ it’s all yours.”

Here are some steps to prevent being abused by these slick crooks:

Get caller identification on your phone. Then you need not answer calls from those you do not recognize.  You can always call back if they leave a message and it is a call you wanted.

You did NOT win a foreign lottery!

Nobody in Nigeria is sending you real money.

Remember, the phone is there for YOUR convenience, not the caller’s. Hang up any time you want. It is much less rude than what they are doing to you!

Don’t buy something merely because of a “free gift” and don’t feel pressured to rush a decision.

Never cash a suspicious check you receive, especially if they want some money back.

Contact the Better Business Bureau BEFORE, not after, you agree to something.

Never give your credit card number or checking account number to a caller or a sender of a postcard.

Never call a 900 number, as it charges by the minute.

If you have been a victim, report it. If you are the caretaker for someone who has been scammed, try to be patient.  They may feel ashamed and there is no reason to make it worse. After all, you want them to trust you.

There are so few folks that can be trusted.

And, almost no one who calls you wanting information can be trusted.

Peel seeks justice for those injured in car accidents, work place incidents, medical malpractice, and nursing homes. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Peel may be reached through wherein other articles may be accessed.

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March 2013
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