As publisher of The Vegas Voice I have received numerous telephone calls and emails from readers. The saddest ones are from those who have lost money.
Nothing is worse than someone stealing the hard-earned money that was going to used for retirement. Make no mistake, there must be a very special place in Hell for those who prey on seniors.
And the worst part, the absolute worse part is that those seniors scammed knew (or should have known) that the incident in question was suspicious, if not outright bogus.
The 3 reasons why seniors are scammed are based on one of these characteristics of the victim:
Nobody – no stranger, no individual, group or country is going to give you millions of dollars. While it might be very tempting to believe that a certain “Nigerian Oil Minister” will come up to you with a certified check (or better yet cash in 10s and 20s) it “just ain’t going to happen.”
And to add to the stupidity – if these entities require you to pay them first before you get the money… well just how stupid are you?
This goes hand-in-hand with stupidity. Any “Get Rich Quick” opportunity, especially from an unsolicited telephone call or an unknown email address is a sure giveaway. If this “chance of a lifetime” is so good, why would a stranger contact you?
And whether you call it a scam or a “bad investment opportunity” the victim always eventually admits that deep down, they knew it was “too good to be true” – but perhaps this one time would be the exception. Spoiler Alert – it never is.
These scams are the “best.” There are so many of them that if we reported one a week, we would spend years doing so and that doesn’t include the “new twists to the old scheme.”
Basically the scammer is trying to intimidate you.
Perhaps you “failed” to appear for jury duty and there is now a warrant for your arrest, or your Social Security payments will now be stopped due to a “failure” on your part to comply with federal law.
Worst of all, your favorite grandchild is calling from a foreign country jail and needs bail, or he or she is in a strange hospital due to a car crash, it is always an emergency that needs your immediate action (meaning money) to rectify the problem.
Recognizing one of these traits is essential if you never want to be a scam victim. Luckily there are also various “tells” from the scammer that something is no good.
Remember no matter the scam, no matter how good or bad the situation, here are our 2 rules to stop any scammer in their tracks:
- Never, never, never make any payment via cash, Western Union, gift card or bitcoin.
- Never, never, never give out any of your personal information. This includes your date of birth, Medicare and (especially) your Social Security number.
If you follow these 2 rules, we give you our Vegas Voice guarantee that you will never be a scam victim.
One last thing – what’s the best way to always avoid even being considered a target by scammers? It’s really very easy:
- Delete, delete, delete that email. If for any reason it is legit (and by the way, it never is) be assured that the sender will contact you again. AND
- If by telephone, hang up the phone, hang up the phone and hang up the phone. It’s shrewd to be rude.”
We’ll have more scam tips in the future. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.