Elder Scams -

Generic Scams

Do not respond to any of these scams, not even to remove your name from the list:
  • Special VISA/Mastercard Scam Alert - Confirmed: Should you get a phone call from a VISA or Mastercard "Employee" trying to confirm the unusual spending activity and that person asks for the code on the back of your credit card - do not give that number out. They will sound very professional but may not be from that company. If you suspect a scam contact VISA or Mastercard Fraud numbers on your credit card to confirm that they made that call and deal with the situation that way.
  • Account Verification or "Phisher" Scams: For several years, individuals have purchases domain names that are similar to those of legitimate companies. It may be in a form such as The real company is abccompany but it does not have a "-accounts" in its domain.
  • Sign In Rosters: There are some companies and government agencies that ask you to put your name and social security number (SSN) on a sign in roster. Be aware that identity thieves may sign up toward the end of a page (purposely) so that they can copy and collect personal identifying information. If you encounter this, the best way to handle the situation is to write the following instead of your SSN "will provide in person".
  • Help Move Money From My Country, Aka Nigerian 419 Scam: Everyone has received an email from a representative of a foreign government asking you to help move money from 1 account to another. This scam still nets $100 million annually so people are still falling for it.
  • Canadian/Netherlands Lottery: "You have won." Unless you entered a lottery or bought a ticket to win a prize these are scams. Remember playing foreign lotteries is illegal.
  • "Free Credit Report" Emails: Almost all of the "free credit report" emails you receive are scams. Either the person is trying to find out your social security number or will be billing you for a service later on.
  • "You Have Won a Free Gift:" You may receive either a phone call or email about a free gift or prize. You just need to send your credit card to take care of the shipping and handling. Do not. Free means free, there should be no charge.
  • Questionnaires: This is the time of year when you get an email holiday card from an "old friend". It may come from a chat room friend. These include questions that help the person sending it find out your birth date, passwords, (Favorite Things) and even blatantly may ask for your SSN.