Your car warranty is about to expire! We all love to answer our phones and hear that exciting news!! Even if you no longer own a car, you are not immune to these calls. As annoying as it is, if you have a phone, you are not exempt from scammers trying to get information from you.
The office of the Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, offers some safety tips for seniors at home and out and about. These tips are aimed toward seniors but apply to everyone. Here are some quick tips.
If you do not know the number- DO NOT ANSWER- Let your machine pick up.
EXAMINE YOUR MAIL- If the postmark is from outside the US it is most likely mail fraud.
Be aware of anyone DEMANDING PAYMENTS in gift cards or prepaid credit cards.
Pennsylvania has one of the highest senior populations in the country and our seniors are more active than ever. The Office of the Attorney General is there to help protect and educate seniors on what to watch out for when you are out socially, traveling or simply enjoying your home life.
Talk with family members and friends about your travel plans and daily activities.
Be aware of your surroundings, walk-in groups of two or more.
Never post your travel plans on social media sites.
When driving, never pull off or park in a secluded area. Drive to a well-lit public place.
Close and lock windows when you leave the house. Keep your doors locked at all times, even while you are at home.
Don’t let strangers into your home. Ask delivery people and utility workers for ID.
Never deal with a contractor who shows up unsolicited or with “leftover materials”. Always use a contractor that is registered with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. To check if a contractor is registered, visit www.attorneygeneral.gov.
When you are gone for more than a day, make sure your home appears occupied-use timers to turn on lights and a radio or television.
Always place a hold request on mail and newspapers while away. If possible, park a second vehicle in the driveway.
Do not hide a key under the mat or in other conspicuous places.
Banks, credit card companies and government offices never call you to verify your personal or account information.
Never give your personal information to anyone who contacts you and asks for it; only when you initiate the contact.
Don’t carry unneeded credit cards or your social security card with you.
Law enforcement agencies will not contact you and demand you make payment of fines over the phone or the internet.
No one can win the lottery from a country they’ve never visited or sweepstakes they didn’t enter. “You have to play to win”.
No offer to share millions of dollars, recover wealth, or provide large sums of money for you to distribute to charity will require you to provide “front money”
Be aware of health scams. Never release information to any health service provider that you did not contact directly.
Only use an ATM that is inside a bank or business and shield your PIN from the view of others. If the device appears to be altered, report it right away.
Scammers have also cashed in on the COVID-19 pandemic. AARP has released fraud prevention information pertaining to COVID-19. Although most of us have already received our vaccines I will share the information in case booster shots are required in the future or you did not get vaccinated yet.
You may get an offer to skip the line for quicker access to the vaccine for a fee. Ignore the offer. It’s not true.
You may see deals to access in-demand supplies like face masks, test kits and household cleaners. Don’t fall for these deals when you see ads offering hard-to-obtain supplies.
You may receive messages from a family member or friend's social media account saying they can get you a “COVID relief grant”. Be suspicious of any message or post with a special offer, even from someone you know. Check with your friend via other means (e.g., email, phone). If their account has been hacked, they should change their passwords.
You may receive phone calls from alleged contact tracers where there is a link to click for more info about your exposure to the virus. Ignore them. Real contact tracers will not send you any links, and they will not ask for money or personal information like a Medicare ID or Social Security number.
Scammers will try anything- except maybe a hard day's work to make money. No one is immune to email, phone, mail, and text scams. They may seem very real such as an email from your bank verifying your account number or a credit card company informing you someone is trying to use your card. New scams are created daily so we need to be vigilant in protecting our information. You can always reach out to your bank or credit card company by phone to verify they are the ones seeking your information. Double-check the spelling – sometimes the email is missing a letter but looks correct at first glance. If your Netflix is canceled for lack of payment or your Amazon order can’t be shipped be sure to double-check before making any payments. Always remember if it sounds too good to be true…. It probably is!
AARP Driver Safety Refresher course that was scheduled for September 9, 2021, has been canceled by AARP due to Covid concerns. I plan to reschedule this when it becomes available again. Feel free to contact me at the office (570) 621-3220 to be notified when the course is rescheduled.
I would like to thank the Trinity office staff, Father Kurt, MPTF Board, Trinity Vestry, CBC staff, and Episcopal churches of Schuylkill County for the prayers, love, and support shown to me and my family during our time of loss. I have no words to express my gratitude for the way I have been made feel like part of your family. I thank you from the bottom of my heart!