Protecting Seniors from Financial Scams: A Comprehensive Guide – Part 2

Protecting Seniors From Financial Scams

Scams Are Evolving, and So Should We

In part one of “Protecting Seniors from Financial Scams,” we delved into two common scams putting seniors at risk—namely, the grandparent scam and cryptocurrency pickpocketing. Continuing from there, we are turning our spotlight onto two more scams. Our aim is to arm you and your parents with essential information, thereby maintaining financial security and peace of mind.

Sophisticated Phishing Emails: Personalized Traps

You may think you know what a phishing email looks like. But think again. Phishing has been around since the dawn of email, but its techniques have evolved significantly. Scammers are now more adept at faking legitimacy than ever before.

The Evolution of Scammers

No longer content with generic approaches, today’s phishers often impersonate trusted entities, like banks or government agencies. What’s new is the personalized touch. The scam email might address the victim by name, mimic the email domain, signature, or logo of someone the victim knows, or claim to deal with a time-sensitive issue that requires immediate attention.

Real-world Examples

Imagine receiving an email saying, “Hey there, Jim. This is Mr. Boss. We have a client who needs a gift ASAP. Could you purchase a $200 Amazon gift card and email it to me?” Another version could offer financial relief in trying times, urging you to contact a given phone number to claim pre-approved assistance.

Protecting Seniors from Financial Scams: Look for the Details

Before you respond to any suspicious email, evaluate its legitimacy. Check for typos in the sender’s email address and the email’s content. Verify the sender’s credentials by searching online. When in doubt, contact the company or person directly through official channels. In other words, stay cautious and vigilant.

The Online Overpayment Scam: Playing with Conscience

Platforms like Etsy and Facebook Marketplace have opened up new avenues for commerce—and scams. The overpayment scam targets sellers by exploiting their good nature.

How it Works

A scammer contacts you, pretending to be interested in an item you’ve listed for sale. They offer to pay more than the asking price and send a fraudulent payment confirmation email. Then, acting rushed and upset, they request a refund for the extra amount they “accidentally” sent.

The Hidden Trap

The initial overpayment is fictitious. By refunding the “extra” amount, you end up losing your own money. Meanwhile, the scammer vanishes into the digital ether.

Safeguarding Tips

  • Always use traceable payment methods like PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo.
  • Never accept more than the asking price.
  • Confirm the receipt of funds in your payment account before issuing any refund.

Preserving Assets and Safeguarding Families

It may seem overwhelming to stay ahead of scammers who are constantly coming up with new schemes. However, armed with the right tools and knowledge, you can shield yourself and your aging parents from the damaging impacts of financial fraud.

At Aisha Williams Law, we offer comprehensive guidance in financial well-being as part of your estate plan. This includes strategies for asset cataloging and emergency protocols.

Ready to take the next step? Schedule a free 15-minute discovery call with us today. We are here to protect your family’s future—today, tomorrow, and for generations to come.

By being proactive and vigilant, we can significantly reduce the risks of falling victim to scams. Knowledge is power—let’s use it to keep our loved ones safe.

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This article is a service of the Law Office of Aisha M. Williams, APC, serving San Diego, Carlsbad, Escondido, and all of California. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we’ll start you with a  Family Wealth Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love.

This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal, or investment advice. If you are seeking legal advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.