PALM DESERT ATTORNEY EXPOSES LOCAL SCAMS
Dec. 2, 2014
Researching last week's article on senior vet scams I came upon dozens of other scams. This week I share 20 scams with the balance next week.
Obviously not every free lunch or dinner advertised, and discussed last week, as an educational meeting is a scam. As a matter of fact most are very legitimate and provide helpful information.
However that does not discount the nationwide scheme whereby some insurance "veteran advocate agents" fraudulently induce elderly residents of retirement homes and assisted living facilities to attend educational lunch or dinner meetings and convince the attendees to reposition their assets. This ultimately causes the elderly direct financial harm when the "mark" is induced to trade in their savings and put them into annuities that are often inappropriate for their age and circumstances.
In addition to elder abuse and fraud look out for the following scams:
1. Package delivery scam: The mark receives a post office looking notice saying you missed a delivery and you are to download an attachment to take to the post office. Doing so downloads a virus or malware.
2. Phone scammers: They offer to retrieve money for scammed seniors promising they can recover 60 percent of the money lost to victims of timeshare resale or precious metal investments.
3. Spoofing Pay Pal: After an online posting of a "for sale" of a high value item like a car, you receive a full price offer. It is conditional upon payment right away, by Pay Pal. It's a ruse to steal your personal information, money or merchandise.
4. Tech support scams: An ad says Your computer is damaged...we'll help you fix it lures victims to on line offers to purchase software claiming to increase your computer's performance. Website's pop up ads direct calls to activate the software thus gaining remote computer access.
5. Health care coverage ID scams: A Medicare agent (who does not go door to door) knocks on your door selling Medicare insurance promising to save you money. You are told you will lose your Medicare coverage if you do not join their prescription plan
6. New Dog: Scam artists post ads with picture of free pups available but it is not a correct pix. They ask for a reasonable payment or payment for shipping. You will then get additional requests for vet bills, crating, inspection costs......but Lassie never comes home.
7. Free Pizza: Pizza Hut allegedly offers free pizza for their 55th anniversary but clicking the free pizza coupon button installs malware.
8. Bogus newspaper subscription renewal notices: You are advised your subscription is expiring but you can renew by paying immediately....except the money does not go to the paper.
9. Free Products: Offers of free weight loss products result in your credit card charged monthly, for something not ordered.
10. Ebola charity scams: Urgent appeals made for aid to bogus charities.
11. Mystery shopper scams: You're promised a check for $1500 (which is fake) and asked to deposit it and keep $300 as advance payment and wire back the difference.
12. Vacation property scam: Money is wired for homes that do not exist or are not for lease.
13. Elderly Scam: ID requested by alleged government entity asking for Medicare verification giving them bank account info.
14. Lender says you owe money: Fake loan agreements are produced though you do not owe anything.
15. Health care plan scams: Affordable health care offered for payment of enrollment fees and monthly payments.
16. Utility scams: Alleged utility employees come around during outage asking for cash.
17. Government imposters: Imposter with 202 caller ID says FTC or IRS requesting money.
18. Bossy business scam: Your boss's boss emails an urgent request that you wire transfer to a new vendor... it is a masquerader.
19. Debt Relief Scammers claim government affiliation: Phony bill payment government assistance program claims to pay consumer's bills and repair credit in exchange for advance fee.
20. EZ Pass?: You go through tollbooths with EZ pass and get an email that appears to be from EZ pass saying you owe money and asks you to click for your invoice....thus allowing malware or stealing your ID.
Report FRAUD and potential ID thefts by contacting:
Fraud alert hotline: 855 303 9470 or www.aging.senate.gov/fraud-hotline
Charitable Conation Cons/Telemarketing/Mail/Internet Fraud: State Attorney General's Office
916 445 2021- Adult Protective Services,
Riverside County Department of Public Social Services: 760 773 6700
Medicare Fraud: 800 633-4227
Funeral and Cemetery Fraud: 916 574 7870
Senior Vet Fraud Hotline 760 837 7555
Federal Trade Commission ID Theft Hotline 877 ID Theft/ www.consumer.gov/idtheft
Social Security hotline 800 269 0271/www.ssa.gov/oig
Equifax: 800 525 6285/ www.equifax.com
Experian: 888 397 3742/ www.experian.com
Transunion: 800 680 7289/ www.transunion.com
Keep the above numbers and information in a safe place just in case!
For questions regarding this column or ideas for future columns please contact Dale Gribow Attorney at Law at 760-565-0533.