Unfortunately, most of us know that no one is safe from scams, and we may even know someone who has fallen prey to a scam. Your San Jose Estate Planning Attorneys want you to know how to protect yourself from scams that so many fall prey to.
While much of what we discuss with our San Jose estate planning clients focuses on estate planning itself, our relationship with our clients goes well beyond that. We want to give you tools to recognize and avoid scams, and also be able to assist those in your life who may be even more vulnerable to scammers.
The common signs of fraud include:
- Text messages, emails, or calls from unknown numbers asking for information;
- Text messages, emails, or calls from someone you “know” that come unexpectedly;
- You are told you won money, a prize, or are entitled to a refund;
- If the call or message induces panic – scammers are trying to induce panic so that your “logic brain” does not work and you simply react;
- If it involves making a quick/immediate payment – Venmo, CashApp, Zelle, wire transfers, cash, or even cryptocurrency;
- If the payment involves gift cards (The IRS will NEVER ask for payment in gift cards);
- They ask for information that you are uncomfortable giving (Date of birth, social security number, or any banking information) – hang up and call a number you find online for the business so that you can verify;
- Do not click on a link unless you know it is safe;
- Ultimately, if your gut says something is wrong – trust it!
Now while being able to identify potential scams is a great step, the next piece is how to avoid being scammed or taken advantage of in the first place.
- Change your social media settings (Facebook, Messenger, Instagram) to private. Do not let people you do know have easy access to your personal information. Most people have their date of birth, place they were born, even favorite color on their social media. These are often security question answers!
- Do not play the fun “quiz” or survey games on social media. Often this is a way for a scammer to collect data, and again gain access to security question answers.
- Keep your phone contacts updated and make sure you save new numbers – this allows you to avoid answering unknown callers.
- Reach out to someone you trust if you have questions or do not know!
While these are helpful things to be aware of, there are many more steps that you can take to protect yourself from scammers. The best thing you can do is stop and ask questions if you do not know if you have been contacted by a scammer. Your San Jose Estate Planning attorney is one of the people that you can ask. We help our clients throughout the year avoid scams and keep what matters most to you, protected.
To speak with or to schedule an appointment with one of our San Jose estate planning attorneys, contact (800) 244-8814.