Senior Scam alert

Guard Against Senior Scams

Everyone needs to be constantly on guard against scams.  If something seems too good to be true, it is!  If someone tells you have to pay money to receive free money, it is a scam.  If something feels wrong it probably is, trust your gut and don’t switch to wishful thinking.  The IRS never calls, they send a letter and grandkids do not e-mail to say they are stranded in a foreign country.  My advice is do not respond to someone on the internet you do not personally know, and never buy anything from someone who comes to your door who is not under the age of fourteen and wearing a girl scout uniform.

These tips are from the FBI website.

Here are some warning signs of telemarketing fraud—what a caller may tell you:

  • “You must act ‘now’ or the offer won’t be good.”
  • “You’ve won a ‘free’ gift, vacation, or prize.” But you have to pay for “postage and handling” or other charges.
  • “You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier.” You may hear this before you have had a chance to consider the offer carefully.
  • “You don’t need to check out the company with anyone.” The callers say you do not need to speak to anyone including your family, lawyer, accountant, local Better Business Bureau, or consumer protection agency.
  • “You don’t need any written information about the company or their references.”
  • “You can’t afford to miss this ‘high-profit, no-risk’ offer.”

If you hear these or similar “lines” from a telephone salesperson, just say “no thank you” and hang up the telephone.

Read the entire list of tips here and this article shares other information “Fraud Against Seniors

Fraud Alert in Response to Recent California Fires

If you were impacted by the recent fires in California, please see the press release from the State Bar of California outlining where to find help and how to be watchful for fraud.

The State Bar of California issued a fraud alert to warn the public to watch out for and report potential fraud in response to the recent fires across the state.

(The fraud alert is also available in Spanish and Chinese.) As a result of California’s ongoing fires, many people may wish to seek legal advice for various reasons, including insurance disputes, landlord-tenant disputes, consumer fraud and more.
A legal hotline is now available for survivors of the wildfires in California in Butte, Ventura, and Los Angeles counties (additional counties may be added). Disaster survivors facing legal issues in Butte County who are unable to afford a lawyer may call the hotline at 800-345-9497. Disaster survivors facing legal issues in Ventura or Los Angeles county who are unable to afford a lawyer may call the hotline at 877-301-4448. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.
The type of legal assistance available includes:

  • Assistance with securing FEMA and other government benefits available to disaster survivors;
  • Assistance with life, medical and property insurance claims;
  • Help with home repair contracts and contractors;
  • Replacement of wills and other important legal documents destroyed in the disaster;
  • Assisting in consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures;
  • Counseling on mortgage and foreclosure problems;
  • Counseling on landlord-tenant problems.

California law prohibits lawyers or others acting on behalf of a lawyer from:

  • Soliciting clients at an accident scene, at a hospital, or on the way to a hospital
  • Soliciting clients who, due to their physical, emotional or mental state, may not be able to have reasonable judgment about the hiring of an attorney
  • Seeking clients by mail unless the letter and envelope are clearly labeled as an advertisement
  • Promising a particular outcome from the legal representation

In the wake of the fires, there is also the risk of victims being approached in person, by mail, email or other means, by people posing as attorneys. Consumers must carefully check that people offering legal services are legitimate and licensed to provide such services.
Before hiring an attorney, Californians should check the State Bar website for the status of an attorney’s license to practice law and whether they have any record of discipline.

Courtesy of State Bar of California, read the entire press release.