Downs Law Firm, P.C.
Downs Law Firm, P.C.
The Texas Department of Adult Protective Services (APS) recommended Tuesday morning that community members, aged 65 and older, keep their private information, like social security numbers, passwords, maiden names and bank account information, in a locked drawer or somewhere safe.
The Wealth Advisor’s recent article entitled “Beware of These Common Estate Planning Scams” advises you to avoid these common estate planning scams. Cold Calls Offering to Prepare Estate Plans. Scammers call and email purporting to be long lost relatives who’ve had their wallets stolen and are stranded in a foreign country. Seniors fall prey to…
Take, for example, the sad and sordid tax case of Mary Ellen Cranmer Nice vs. United States of America, which would not have existed if an attentive financial advisor hadn’t noticed the large IRA distributions that were allegedly stolen right from under a matriarch’s nose.
The concept of financial scams isn’t a new one. Unfortunately, seniors tend to be particularly prone to them in general. Introduce a pandemic, and you have the makings for financial ruin among our country’s most vulnerable.
While residents in Cecil County and throughout the state are taking precautions to safeguard themselves against COVID-19, some people are stealing or attempting to steal money through coronavirus-based scams, according to the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Complaints about stolen homes have shot up from 44 in 2013 to 136 in 2018, according to the city Department of Records. The department is making changes to its security system in the aftermath of the Inquirer stories, but it declined to detail the upgrades, fearing it would tip off scammers.
Scammers work to create weaknesses, including fear. Scammers have increased targeting people who receive Social Security, to the extent that complaints have increased 1,000% over the past year, according to Fox 6 Now in “‘The people who are calling have some pretty good tricks up their sleeve:’ Social security scam calls spiking.” Ketti Bingen received a phone call telling her that someone had found a car by the side of the road somewhere in Texas that was registered in her name. They told her there was blood on the car, and when they went to the address the car was registered to, they found a massive number of illegal drugs. The caller had the last four digits of her Social Security number. They wanted her to divulge her name and date of birth. The caller advised her to file for a new Social Security number. Lucky for her, she knew enough to hang up. Not all Americans are that smart. In 2017, the Federal Trade Commission heard from 3,200 people who were taken hook, line, and sinker–to the tune of $210,000 each in this scam. In 2018, 35,000 people were fooled. The total loss: $10 million. The Wisconsin Consumer Protection agency and agencies across the country repeat the message: the Social Security Administration does not call and demand money from people. It never makes threats, warns of an impending arrest or demands that people send gift cards. If the Social Security Administration wants to reach out to people, they do so by mail. Another reason people fall prey to these phone scams is that the caller IDs on their phones appear to be coming from the government agencies. However, that’s also a scam. It is now relatively easy to “spoof” a phone number, or make it appear that the number the scammer is calling from has a different caller ID number. If you are worried about someone calling your home claiming to be from the Social Security Administration, you can call the Social Security Administration’s dedicated fraud bureau. Reference: Fox 6 Now (Jan. 27, 2019)“‘The people who are calling have some pretty good tricks up their sleeve:’ Social security scam calls spiking”