Presented by: Bradford & Holliman, Estate Planning
Scams seem to increase around tax and spring time. Here are some to avoid.
So-called “banks” call or send emails asking the senior to confirm their identity to make sure their account is secure. The scammers are insinuating that the senior may have been the subject of identity theft, and “the bank” wants to confirm their information. The senior gives their personal information which the scammer promptly uses to steal the assets. Guess you could say the scammer has confirmed the account was not secure!
If your Caller ID says “Unavailable” for a caller’s name, just let it go to voice mail. And if one does get you on the line, never answer with just the word, “Yes” which has been abused as granting permission in scams. Scammers still pretend they are from Social Security, Medicare, or the IRS. Just remember that these government agencies do not call and threaten to put you in jail if you don’t immediately wire money to them. These agencies communicate in print.
Some scams occur in person, too. A man came by and said we were hooked up to the gas lines, but we were not using gas. He said it was a law that we would have to pay to remove the gas lines, but we could pay him to put a cap on the line, and we would not have to dig up the lines. He said he was from “the City” and even gave us a name and number to call to verify. It was a scam, but he was rather gutsy to try it at a law office.
A current Power of Attorney with a trusted person can help if a scammer gets too close. And make sure your broker has a trusted person to contact in case any questionable requests occur on your investment accounts. That trusted contact can also update contact info, health status, and let your broker know of any new legal guardian, executor, trustee, or holder of power of attorney.
A broker can place a temporary hold on a suspicious disbursement from an account of an investor age 65 and older or investors with mental or physical impairments that the broker reasonably believes make it difficult for the investor’s own financial interests to be protected. The broker can contact the investor, the trusted contact, or law enforcement.
With pollen and scammers in the air, don’t believe everything you hear.
-Melanie B. Holliman, JD
Partner at Bradford & Holliman
Estate Planning, Trusts & Special Needs
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