In an age of rapid technological advancements, one would hope that outdated forms of deception like telephone scams would decline. Regrettably, these scams are not only persistent but adapting to the times. As we share two unsettling instances from recent history, we aim to raise awareness and help our Legacy Private Trust Company community remain vigilant against such threats.
The Grandchild Ploy
CALLER: Hi Grandpa! It’s me, your grandson.
GRANDPA: Well, hello. Which grandson are you?
CALLER: Your favorite one.
GRANDPA: No, I don’t play favorites. Goodbye.
Had the elder been persuaded by this ruse, the scammer would most likely have solicited emergency funds over the telephone and urged secrecy from the rest of the family. Termed the “Grandchild Scam,” such approaches are alarmingly widespread.
Leveraging Fear: A Sinister Strategy
A concerning narrative from a colleague’s communication reveals another strategy employed by these nefarious actors:
While working in a hospital ER, a young woman was called from what appeared to be her family’s home telephone number. Answering it, she was met with distressing cries, seemingly from her mother. Before long, a male voice interjected with threats against her parents’ lives, demanding a $1,200 ransom. The swift thinking on her part and immediate police involvement unveiled this for the scam it was. This story underscores how scammers leverage heightened emotions to cloud judgment.
Sadly, their motive often targets amounts that seem plausible and urgent enough for immediate payment, further amplifying the victim’s distress.
Recognizing the Signs: Guidance from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The FTC has outlined four tell-tale signs of a scam telephone call:
- The caller impersonates reputable entities such as the IRS or local utilities.
- There might be claims of account discrepancies or tantalizing prize offers.
- Victims are often pressured to act hastily.
- Unusual payment methods, like cryptocurrencies or gift cards, are preferred.
To further shield oneself from these scams, the FTC recommends:
- Blocking Unwanted Communication: Simply registering on the Do Not Call list might be insufficient. Find more about this here.
- Protecting Personal Data: Avoid sharing financial or personal details over unfamiliar platforms. Refrain from clicking on dubious links, even if the sender appears known. Always use verified websites.
- Delay Hasty Actions: Genuine businesses will allow you the time to deliberate on any offers or decisions.
- Decline Suspicious Payment Methods: Trustworthy organizations will never demand payment in gift cards.
- Seek Trusted Counsel: Before making any decisions, discuss the situation with someone you trust.
If you suspect you’ve fallen prey to a telephone scam, it is imperative to report it to the FTC through this link.
Remember the age-old adage: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. As we navigate this digital era, scams will evolve, but with vigilance and knowledge, we can thwart their efforts.
At Legacy Private Trust Company, our commitment extends beyond wealth management. We believe in the value of education and safeguarding our community from potential threats. Should you wish to understand more about how we can protect your assets and ensure financial security, please contact us. We are here to serve and support you.
If you are a Legacy client and have questions, please do not hesitate to contact your Legacy advisor. If you are not a Legacy client and are interested in learning more about our approach to personalized wealth management, please contact us by telephone at 920.967.5020 or email at email@example.com.
This newsletter is provided for informational purposes only.
It is not intended as legal, accounting, or financial planning advice.