Don’t Take Candy from Strangers

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You have just won….send $12* for shipping.  A deposit error was made to your bank account, please refund the money to…..  The bank lost your password…..You have a virus on your computer and we can help you fix it….  I am calling on behalf of your grandchild ….You did not show for jury duty unless pay a fine immediately….. and my all time favorite NOT: Dear ……. I live (on another continent)  and my family needs help transferring funds, you will be handsomely rewarded for your help…

I am a senior citizen.  I would like to win the prize.  I want to be helpful.  I want to obey the law and do the right thing.  I want to respond to the messages. 

Be vigilant and talk to your senior friends and family about scams.  Tell them how to respond.  We teach our kids don’t take candy from strangers.  Our senior friends are just as vulnerable to people they don’t know.

Have the following conversation with your seniors:

If someone emails, calls, texts or communicates saying they are from a bank, a computer software company, a legal entity and you do not know them...tell them you will call the police.  Ask for a phone number to call them back.  Give that number to the authorities.  If the one communicating is legitimate, they should appreciate your due diligence.  Call someone you know before you take any suggested action.  Call a family member, call your IT person, call your banker.  Put an ICE number by the phone and computer.  ICE stands for In Case of Emergency. Not sure how to handle a persistent caller? Give the caller your ICE number as the one in charge of the computer or bank etc.

Senior friend, don’t try to handle the situation by yourself no matter how urgent it sounds. 

If you are reading this and think you are safe well then I have one last thing to share:   I am a smart person, and I am still embarrassed to admit this:  You won’t get the prize by sending the $12*. That scam got me when I was 20 something.

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