VETERANS & ELDER LAW

COMMON SCAMS

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VETERAN SCAM CHARITY

 

COMMON SENIOR SCAMS!

 

The Grand Parent SCAM!

 

Do you love your grand kids?

 

REVERSE MORTGAGE ?  BE CAREFUL!

 

Fraud and scams key terms

Elder financial exploitation

Elder financial exploitation is the illegal or improper use of an older adult’s funds, property, or assets. It is the most common form of elder abuse, but only a small fraction of incidents are reported.

The perpetrators can be strangers who gain the trust of older adults, but they can also be family members or friends. It’s important to know the warning signs. Read more.

Foreclosure relief scam

Foreclosure relief and mortgage loan modification scams are schemes to take your money or your house—often by making a false promise of saving you from foreclosure. These scammers may ask for money upfront and claim to guarantee that you can get your mortgage terms changed. If you’re having trouble making mortgage payments, a HUD-approved housing counselor can walk you through your options for free.

Fraud alert for prevention

A fraud alert is something you can use to reduce the likelihood that you will be the victim of new account identity theft. It requires creditors who check your credit report to take steps to verify your identity before opening a new account, issuing an additional card, or increasing the credit limit on an existing account. When you place a fraud alert on your credit report at one of the nationwide credit reporting companies, the company must notify the others.

There are two main types of fraud alerts: initial fraud alerts and extended alerts. Members of the military have an additional option available to them—active duty alerts, which give service members protection while they are on active duty. Read more.

Fraud by fiduciaries

A fiduciary is someone who manages someone else’s money or property. For example, agents under a power of attorney and court-appointed guardians are fiduciaries.

When you are named a fiduciary, you are required by law to manage the person’s money and property for his or her benefit, not yours. When a fiduciary spends the money for his or her own benefit, that may be fraud.

Identity theft

Identity theft occurs when someone steals your identity to commit fraud.

Stealing your identity could mean using personal information without your permission, such as your name, Social Security number, bank account information, or credit card number. The Federal Trade Commission offers information

about preventing and responding to identify theft.

Imposter scams

Imposter scammers try to convince you to send money by pretending to be someone you know or trust like a sheriff, local, state, or federal government employee, or charity organization. Remember, caller ID can be faked. You can always call the organization or government agency and ask if the person works for them before giving any money.

Mail fraud

Mail fraud letters look real but the promises are fake. A common warning sign is a letter asking you to send money or personal information now to get something valuable after you send the money or information.

Phishing

In phishing, a scammer impersonates a business or a person to trick you into giving out your personal information, such as passwords, credit card numbers, or bank account information. A scammer may use fraudulent emails, texts, or websites to steal this information from you. These emails can look authentic.

Security freeze for prevention

A security freeze prevents new creditors from accessing your credit file and others from opening accounts requiring a credit check in your name, until you lift the freeze.

Because most businesses will not open credit accounts without checking your credit report, a freeze can stop identity thieves from opening new accounts in your name. Be mindful that a freeze doesn’t prevent identity thieves from taking over existing accounts. Read more.

Spoofing

Spoofing occurs when a caller disguises the information shown on your caller ID. This gives the caller the ability to disguise or “spoof” the name and/or number to appear as though they are calling as a certain person from a specific location.

Wire or money transfer fraud

Some scammers trick you into wiring or transferring money to steal from you. One common example of a wire transfer fraud is the “grandparent scam.” This is when a scammer posing as a grandchild or a friend of a grandchild will call and say they are in a foreign country, or in some kind of trouble, and need money wired or sent right away.

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From the Desk of Brian M. Hughes, Vice President/IT Director  – FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF NEWTOWN

Have you ever gotten an email from someone claiming to be royalty? In their email they tell you that they will inherit millions of dollars, but need your money and bank details to get access to that inheritance. You know this email isn’t legitimate, so you delete it, yet there are many more scams being perpetrated by criminals that sound more believable and aren’t as easy to spot. Learning to identify and avoid these scams is the first step in protecting yourself from these schemes. Senior Citizens are often particularly vulnerable to some of these fraud campaigns. The world today is full of cybercriminals launching both phishing emails, and the tried and true phone scams that never fell out of fashion. Protecting not only your finances, but also your data from these scams is more important now than ever.

Phone Scams

Scammers who operate by phone can seem legitimate and are typically very persuasive! To draw you in to their scam, they might:

  • Sound friendly, call you by your first name, and make small talk to get to know you
  • Claim to work for a company or organization you trust such as: a bank, a software or other vendor you use, the police department, or a government agency
  • Threaten you with fines or charges that must be paid immediately
  • Mention exaggerated or fake prizes, products, or services such as credit and loans, extended car warranties, charitable causes, or computer support
  • Ask for login credentials or personal sensitive information
  • Request payments to be made using odd methods, like gift cards
  • Use prerecorded messages, or robocalls

If you receive a suspicious phone call or robocall, the easiest solution is to hang up. You can then block the caller’s phone number and register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry (https://www.ftc.gov/donotcall).1

Email Scams

Phishing emails are convincing and trick many people into providing personal data. These emails tend to be written versions of the scam phone calls described above. Some signs of phishing emails are:

  • Imploring you to act immediately, offering something that sounds too good to be true, or asking for personal or financial information2
  • Emails appearing to be from executive leadership you work with requesting information about you or colleagues that they usually do not request (for example, W2s)
  • Unexpected emails appearing to be from people, organizations, or companies you trust that will ask you to click on a link and then disclose personal information.3 Always hover your mouse over the link to see if it will direct you to a legitimate website
  • Typos, vague and general wording, and nonspecific greetings like “Dear customer”3

Beware that many scam and phishing emails look legitimate! An email pretending to be a company might contain pictures or text mimicking the company’s real emails. If you’re unsure about an email you received, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • Do not click links or open attachments in emails you were not expecting3
  • Do not enter any personal, login, or financial information when prompted by an unsolicited email 3
  • Do not respond to or forward emails you suspect to be a scam3
  • If in doubt, contact the person or organization the email claims to have been sent by using contact information you find for yourself on their official website3

If you get scam phone calls or phishing emails at home, hang up or delete the emails. If you get scam phone calls or phishing emails at work, let your organization’s security or Information Technology team know so they can help protect others from these scams! Additionally, please educate your parents and grandparents on these scams, as they are becoming only more and more common.