Scam Prevention and Recovery
Scams become more convincing every year as scammers learn new tactics. Review the top signs of a scam and check out the other resources listed below to learn about common scams.
What are the top three red flags of a scam?
- The call, email, or letter tells you to wire money, buy a gift card, or send cash.
- Scammers love to use wire transfers, gift cards, and cash because they are difficult or impossible to trace. When you send money using one of these methods, it is likely gone for good.
- There is a sense of urgency.
- Scammers try to put you off balance by making you feel afraid or excited. They may threaten you with jail time, a lawsuit, or some other danger. They may tell you that you won money, or something else that sounds too good to be true. They may say you need to “act quickly” or send money “right away.” Scammers know that when people feel afraid or excited, we may not think clearly.
- Either way, the first step is to hang up. Then, you should dial a number you know—such as the number on the back of your Medicare card, if the caller said they were from Medicare—to verify whether the information is true.
- The caller asks you to give them personal information, such as your address, Social Security number, bank account information, email address, or password.
- Never give your personal information out over the phone, unless you made the call to a number you know.
- Never provide your personal information in an email. Reputable companies and government agencies will not ask you to send personal information by email.
What are some steps I can take to avoid scams?
- Never provide personal information or financial information to someone who calls you or emails you. Only share this information when you made the call to a number you know, such as the phone number on your bank card.
- Before you hire a contractor, ask for their credentials. Make sure they are licensed, insured and qualified. Keep a copy of any information they give you.
- If you did not request a service or product, do not sign anything or enter into an agreement.
- Never pay caregivers, contractors, or other bills in cash.
- Never make out a check to "cash.”
- Get a second opinion from a trusted person before sending money or making any big financial decisions.
Questions? Need help? Please call (561) 684-5885 and press option 3 to leave a voicemail for our Elder Rights Center. We check our voicemail daily and will respond to you as quickly as possible.