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How to Avoid Scams

by Roberta Arshat

GRF member resources & assistance liaison

Generally, most people are friendly, but how friendly should people be before you start to wonder what they really want. Sometimes this isn’t a bad question to ask yourself.

We meet people every day; some of them become our friends, some become very close friends, and some just pass through our lives for a moment.

But what about those people who meet us and seem to take an interest in our lives and want to know more about what we have. Who is this chummy predator?

According to Consumer Reports, most of the time, it will be a family member or caregiver, but there have been cases of the gardener or a co-worker from a past job who financially scam seniors by means of coercion or trickery.

In some cases, seniors are duped into handing over part or all of their hard-earned assets. These perpetrators get away with it because only 1 in 44 victims will report the crime, according to estimates by experts.

Here are some pointers on how to spot potential scammers in your life:

• Beware of someone finding clever ways to ask you how much money you have and if can they borrow from you. They will also be very willing to drive you to the bank and accompany you inside.

• Beware of someone who wants to see your cute place. Don’t be so quick to allow strangers into your home. While you’re fetching that glass of lemonade, they may be looking for expensive trinkets or jewelry to put in their pockets. Instead, invite them to sit on the patio or go for a walk.

• Beware of someone who is asking for your email or phone number. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable getting more personable with this person. If not, block them ASAP, and alert security, member resources or the police if you’re scared. They can help put a stop to it.

Other Scams to Avoid

Telemarketing phone calls are one of the most prominent today. Never ever give out your Social Security number, banking information, credit card numbers or PIN numbers to anyone who calls you over the phone. If someone says they are calling from a place you do legitimate business with, do not give out your personal information; just hang up and call the company using the number from your phone book. If there is an honest issue with one of your accounts, the business will send a letter, and it will reference specific accounts.

Emails are another way scammers try to get to you. Sometimes the emails will look legitimate, but take a close look at the email address; that’s where you can find discrepancies. If you are unsure about the veracity of an email, call the company directly.

The name of the game is to be safe, alert and report anything you find suspicious or intrusive. Even if you have a gut feeling about something not feeling right, trust your gut. If you need more information or want to report a potential scam, call Security at (562) 594-4754. For more information, call me, your new member resources and assistance liaison at (562) 431-6586, ext. 317.

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