Constant changes in technology give con artists new opportunities to swindle us out of our money. So we wanted to share some information on how to keep you and your family safe from scammers.
Grandma and Grandpa are a Con Artist’s “Bread & Butter.”
Senior citizens are considered some of the most vulnerable to a con. And if an elderly person doesn’t have a someone around to help, it’s easy to see why they are the first place a con artist will go. Land Park is a multi-generational community with plenty of active seniors. Although many are pretty smart and able to handle themselves, scammers are slick. KCRA did a piece on the 30% increase in financial scams on seniors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFc1GYuxpE4
Per the Sacramento County DA’s website, here are a few things scammers do:
- Someone calls or emails saying a relative is in trouble (injured, arrested or in jail).
- The person may even claim to be your relative.
- They may have people calling claiming to be the police, fire safety, a lawyer or bail bondsman.
- They need money immediately for bail, hospital care, life flight helicopter or a lawyer.
- They need you to send the money now.
- You are asked to go to Western Union, purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak prepaid card or give your credit card number over the phone.
- They may tell you not to try and call other relatives.
To find out what to do if a senior citizen has been scammed, go to the Sacramento County D.A. website for more details: https://www.sacda.org/victim-services/elder-abuse/
We suggest you check in and speak to your loved ones and listen. Find out to what they are doing and make sure they aren’t falling for a scam.
Ignore “Scammy” Posts on Nextdoor
We have a lot of caring, well-meaning neighbors in Land Park. And when someone posts that they are in crisis, many want to come to their aid. The thing is, Sacramento is filled with services to help people in need. Whether it’s food, baby formula or household items, their needs can be met.
Not sure? Check out AuntBertha.com and put in your zip code. The search for the Land Park area code listed almost 3,000 programs for various needs: https://www.auntbertha.com/search_results/95818. And if someone is asking for money, consider reporting the post.
Home improvement scams are on the rise too. Beware to those who use the Nextdoor app to find a “good deal” on a contractor, or handyman. They may end up costing more than you thought you’d save. It’s always best to go with a licensed and bonded contractor.
Here’s a news story about the victim of a home improvement scam on Nextdoor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85KDIgnCv_4
Selling Something on Facebook Marketplace?
This can be a great place to sell items, but con artists are lurking everywhere. If they ask for your email, don’t give it to them. And if they mention a transaction involving gift cards, run!
Here is a good video of the 5 signs of a scam when selling on Facebook” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYuIzIYcX24
If you’re ready to report a scam, visit the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center: https://www.ic3.gov/Home/ComplaintChoice
You can report various crimes including elder fraud, business email compromise and other cyber crimes.
And here’s their page for resources to be “crime smart”: https://www.fbi.gov/how-we-can-help-you/safety-resources/scams-and-safety