Avoiding/Stopping more types of senior fraud

“Oh, my goodness my grandson was in a car accident.”

by Carol Leish MA

Debbie Deem, a retired ‘Victim’s Specialist’ for the FBI, discussed various types of fraud in order for others to be aware of how to cope/stop them from happening.

Deem said that, “Regarding Government and business imposter fraud, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), has an important warning about it. The FTC says that these, remote criminals contact you, usually via phone or text, saying that they are with the government, such as the IRS claiming that you owe back taxes. Or, that they are with Social Security insisting that your Social Security number has been ‘suspended’ or ‘stolen.’ Or, they may claim to be a Medicare representative who is asking for your Medicare number or offering to sell you equipment or tests, or perhaps another health care agency (especially regarding a COVID-19 related issue).

“They may also be impersonating utility companies, package deliveries jury duty or a bank that ‘threatens’ to close your account unless you take action. These calls sound legitimate and may threaten you with bad consequences unless you make a payment immediately or provide certain financial information. The payment is usually demanded immediately often with gift cards or increasingly crypto currency. If you get a call like this, hang up. Government and other legitimate businesses will not call you, email or text you to demand money or personal information.

For more information link to: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-avoid-government-impersonator-scam.”

“In terms of family (and friend) emergency fraud, Deem said that, “the Federal Trade Commission has several warnings about criminals using the phone, texting or emailing while pretending to be a relative or friend in an emergency (often a grandchild). The person calling may say that there has been a car accident, and that your loved one has been hospitalized, or has been taken to jail. Impersonators pretend to be doctors, lawyers, consulate staff and even pretend to be the family member themselves.

“The criminal imposter insists that you send money (sometimes repeatedly), quickly and secretly. They may even keep you on a cell phone until you have completed a transaction wiring money, sending gift card information, or sending funds via virtual currency. If you receive a call or text like this-hang up and don’t pay. For more information go to: https//www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2018/07/scammers-create-fake-emergencies-get-your-money.”
Deem said that, “The US Postal Inspection Services has information useful in learning about money mules, which is defined as a person who receives, and transfers money obtained from victims of fraud. Criminals may enlist victims to be money mules (or money movers) in work at home fraud schemes such as reshipping packages. It may also originate in lottery/sweepstake fraud or romance crimes.

“Victims may believe that they need to forward money or open a bank account and forward it to someone in hopes of receiving lottery money or to help in getting a romance imposter out of a difficult situation. However, transferring money/valuables on behalf of others only benefits criminals and may lead to serious consequences for the ‘mule.’ Being involved as a money mule is money laundering, even if you do not know that is the result of your innocent actions, is illegal.”

“For information concerning money mules,” Deem says to,” look at: https://www.uspis.gov/news/scam-article/mmoney-mule.”

With more knowledge of the above types of fraud and about money mules/money movers, you will be better able to avoid/stop fraud and to protect yourselves.

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