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Protect Yourself from Scams

March 15, 2023

It is unthinkable but true. There are people who would like nothing better than to steal from you. It’s so easy to have a rosy view of the world; after all, it is a beautiful world! However, it is wise to consider ways that we could become the victim of a scam. While we do not want to live in fear, we must be vigilant in protecting ourselves and loved ones from scammers.

  1. Benevolent Scams

When disaster strikes, we want to help. Whether it is a hurricane, tsunami, tornado, or flood … or the desire to help people in war-torn countries, it is natural to want to help our fellow humankind. Sadly, there are people who pose as benevolent people who will ask you to donate to a good cause. Do not give your private information over the phone to someone you do not know. It is best to give through a trustworthy organization and someone you know personally than to trust a complete stranger, no matter how good they sound or look.

  1. “Relative” Scams

We have probably all received a fake call from someone posing as a family member in need. It is natural to want to help our children and grandchildren. And it can be easy, when receiving this type of call, to notice our pulse quickening and our emotions going into high-gear. Do not be rash or hasty in responding to this type of scammer. It is likely that your child or grandchild is safe and completely clueless as to this type of “emergency” call.

  1. Debt Scams

You may have already received calls from “your” credit card company or some debt collection agency, alerting you to “debts” you have accrued which need immediate payment. Or, they may pretend to be a company who is offering to adjust the terms of your debt in order to “help” you. ALWAYS be wary of anyone calling and asking you for your banking information, birthdate, address, and social security number. These scams can come in the form of phone fraud, email fraud, and snail mail fraud. If in doubt, ask a trusted family member or friend to help you.

  1. Mobile Payment Scams

Con artists steal money through mobile apps such as Venmo, Cash App, and PayPal. They have a sneaky way of requesting money or payments, hoping that people will react quickly and release funds without thinking. Never send money through your phone to someone you do not know.

  1. Email Fraud

Unfortunately, there is a lot of junk email barraging our in-boxes. It could be a person posing as a refugee, a ministry leader, or a charity politely asking for your assistance. They may be wolves in sheep’s clothing, so beware!

Even more clandestine are emails saying you have a package to pick up, or there is a problem with your online order and requesting the verification of your payment information. Some people may even pose as your bank or insurance company.

Be very careful to pause before opening any email, especially attachments, that seem suspicious. They can steal information from you by you simply clicking on/following the link! One tip is to look at the email address in the bar at the top of your computer screen. If it is a jumble of letters/numbers/symbols, that is a sure sign that something is amiss!

  1. Foreclosure Scams

This type of scam involves thieves, posing as heroes, who are trying to take your money or your house to “save” you from foreclosure by coercing you into signing paperwork or paying mystery fees. Do not hesitate to call a trusted family member or friend to ask for their perspective. And, there are lawyers who can help you sort through the confusion for free or at very little cost.

  1. Prize Scams

“You won a new car!” or “You won $1,000!” can prey on our need or greed and draw us into a scam. As the old saying goes, “If it sounds too good, it probably is.” Do not grab the bait. Instead, ask questions such as, “Where are you located? Who provides the money for this prize? Where is your headquarters? How did you find me, or how did I qualify for such a prize? May I talk to your manager?”

The Federal Trade Commission has compiled this article to help you know how to recognize and deal with scams safely and swiftly. Some highlights from this resource include:

How to Recognize a Scam

1. Scammers pretend to be from an organization you know.
2. Scammers say there is a problem or a prize.
3. Scammers pressure you to act immediately.
4. Scammers will tell you to pay in a certain way.

How to Report a Scam

If you think you have been approached by a scammer, you can report them to this website:

We hope this article has been informative and helpful for you. We here at Keohane Funeral Homes are here to answer your questions – please let us know how we can help you. You are always welcome to check out our website or call us directly at 617-773-3551.


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