Avoiding Scams

SSV Board Member Sue Liberman introduced our November speaker, Doris Gelbman, and she shared a most informative presentation on “Avoiding Scams.” Attorney Gelbman practices elder law exclusively, and is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.  

 Frauds and scams are crimes, she emphasized, and should be addressed as such.  All of these crimes should be reported! 

Contact Adult Protective Services or APS: 888-832-3858. Also report to Elder Fraud Hotline: 833-372-8311 and report to the FBI: 800-677-1116. The local FBI office can be reached at 293-4283. Reporting these crimes helps authorities connect criminal activities as most of the fraud/scam crimes are part of a larger network.

 Three tips: 1) Never answer a phone caller with “yes” if asked “Hello, is this **your first name** ” Your “yes” can be recorded and used to sign you up for purchases, etc. 2) If a caller says “your grandson is in trouble,” do not say your grandson’s name.  For example, don’t say ” Oh, no, what’s happened to Michael?”  Then, the caller knows your grandson’s name. 3) Do not believe everything you read on Facebook or Google or the Internet.  It is VERY easy to paste a photo over someone else’s Facebook page .. and pretend to be that person. It is VERY easy to create a dummy link to “mayo clinic” or “nih-national institutes of health” …and then capture your computer’s address.  And gain access to your computer contents and passwords.

 Your bank…The IRS…The Courts…Medicare…Social SecurityNONE of these call people.  So a phone call pretending to be from them is trouble.

 Attorney Gelbman encouraged everyone to be skeptical and question: BEFORE you click on an attachment or link on the computer; BEFORE you ever give any information over the phone; BEFORE you share any financial information with anyone. And you can call Doris Gelbman if you have a problem!

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