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BEWARE!  Scams are on the rise.  Please read

BEWARE! Scams are on the rise. Please read

July 28, 2022

We all hear about people getting taken by various scams these days.  Well, scams are on the rise.  There have been several instances recently in which some of our friends and family, who have all been previously warned, have succumbed to various scams.  Like me, you might think that it can't happen to you, but we are all at risk.  Why?  Because the scammers are getting unbelievably creative.  They know exactly what to say to lure us in with an email and to build trust if they get us on the phone.  If you are ever in doubt, please stop proceedings immediately and ask a family member or friend to get involved.

Here are a few helpful hints.

1)  Don't ever click on a link if you aren't certain about the source.

2)  Protect your Social Security Number and don't ever send it via email.  Information can be stolen if an email is not encrypted, and most emails aren't.

3)  Call my office if you don't know what to do and simply want to run the situation by someone.  We are not subject matter experts, but we do try to stay apprised of what's going on and we have access to people who are experts.  Often, someone who hasn't spoken with the scammer is able to look at the situation more clearly.

4)  If something sounds too good to be true - it is! 

5)  Pay attention to emotions.  If you are acting out of fear or extreme emotion, it could be a sign that you're being set up.  For example, a particularly successful scam that has been used is calling a grandparent to send money for a grandchild who is in jail.  In this particular scam, the caller knows the correct name of the grandchild!

6)  There are several trusted websites that post common scams in an effort to warn the public.  One of the regulatory bodies for the financial services industry is FINRA.  You can go to their website - FINRA.org - and search for Investor Alerts.  They go a pretty good job of cataloguing the most common schemes and of keeping the list updated.

7)  Your good manners are not always good.  Sometimes you just need to hang up on someone - and that's okay.  Trust me - very few people will have their feelings hurt and certainly not the scammers.  Matter of fact, they're used to getting hung up on.  In the event that you do hurt a legitimate caller's feelings, that's better than losing time, and/or money, trying to recoup stolen funds.

Be on the alert and don't hesitate to call if we can help in any way.