According to the Federal Trade Commission, Imposter Scams are on the rise in the United States. This is when a scammer contacts you and pretends to be someone you trust to convince you to provide personal information.
Some of the most common cons involve fake cemetery plots or funeral arrangements, counterfeit medications, worthless anti-aging products, phony charity appeals, home repair fraud, lottery scams, investment schemes, and a thief posing as a Medicare representative to obtain personal information.
To protect yourself from falling victim to these types of scams take the following measures to keep your identity and accounts safe:
Monitor Finances and Credit. Review statements or have online access to watch for unusual charges. Use a credit monitoring service and ensure no additional lines of credit or inquiries are being made.
Remove from Lists. Add yourself to the Do Not Call registry and opt out lists from the Direct Marketing Association. Be extremely skeptical of telemarketers who still call. Consider cancelling a landline in favor of a cell number, where telemarketing and scam calls are less frequent.
Screen Visitors. Carefully screen home caregivers and use accredited companies for any home visits for repairs or service. To be extra safe, lock a driver’s license, valuables, and credit cards in a safe.
Open Dialogue with Aging Relatives. Ask questions if they become withdrawn, don’t show judgement for decisions, but focus on education. Urge your parent/relative not to give personal information to strangers or to make quick financial decisions, especially when pressured. If they’ve been victimized, encourage them to alert authorities to protect others.
Approaching an aging relative about their ability to keep making wise financial decisions can be difficult. We can assist by creating opportunities to educate your family about potential dangers, safeguard their assets and encourage them to take steps to prevent future fraud, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
How We Keep You Safe: We will never ask you over the phone or email to reveal passwords, verification codes, or bank account wiring information. We will never accept fund requests via email or text (only if we speak with you verbally). If you receive a call or email that seems suspicious, do not respond and contact our office directly at 727-789-3691. Additionally, here are a few ways we keep your data safe:
- Email Encryption: User authentication for the Archiving Platform is via 256-bit SSL encryption. Data is protected using forced 2048-bit SSL and TLS encryption.
- Paperwork: 90% paperless office, all paper documents are kept locked up and micro shredded.
- Electronic Storage: The data center is SAS 70 audited and is in the US Safe Zone in southern Nevada. The area is void of weather or other hazards and is the most stable ground in the western hemisphere. Physical security of the site is taken seriously – an armed military trained security force is on site and Department of Defense certified security systems such as white noise injectors, radio frequency shielding, steel lined walls, man gates, and retinal scans are employed.
- Entreda: Our firm is monitored by our compliance department to ensure that all computers and log-ins utilize multifactor authentication, encryption, antivirus and more. We currently exceed the FINRA, SEC, and State of Florida minimum requirements for cybersecurity.
For additional helpful information on trending scams, please visit the Federal Trade Commission website.
Wagner Advisory Group