While news reports about the Madoff scandal could be heard in the background, I was going though some old files and found this gem from a course on financial elder abuse. It is important to remember that it is not only elders who are vulnerable. Hard times can make us all wishful thinkers. Unfortunately the current economic climate makes individuals both more likely to engage in fraud and to be susceptible to fraud.
1.You’ve “won a prize” or “a prize has been reserved for you.”
2.You’ve been “selected to receive” a special offer.
3.You must “act immediately” or lose your chance for a special offer.
4.You must spend money to “reserve your free gift” or “pay for shipping for your gift.”
5.You’re promised “fantastic financial returns” or “risk-free investing.”
6.You’re told that a “legal loophole allows people in the know” to profit from a “one-time-only situation.”
7.You’re asked for your credit card number and expiration date “to make sure you are a credit card holder.”
8.You’re asked for your Social Security number or personal financial information, such as your bank account number.
9.You’re asked to donate to an agency that sounds like a well-known charity, such as “American Cancer Center” (instead of the American Cancer Society).
10.You’re asked to give to an organization you don’t know, but that sounds like it’s linked to a public agency, like the “Police Support Center.”
Remember: IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS.