I posted this on METAR to get the eyeballs, but it probably belongs here as well. It’s particularly relevant to those who aren’t yet taking care of their parents, but whose parents are still getting along on their own.
Please, please, PLEASE be very careful when contacted out of the blue about anything. Be suspicious.
I just got a call from a client. He is in his 80s and has lost his entire life savings to a scammer. They convinced him he was a victim of identity theft and that he shouldn’t tell anyone about it. They posed as someone from his financial institution.
For yourself, remember that any legitimate caller will be encouraging you to get assistance from family and friends and law enforcement. They won’t tell you to move your funds to a different financial institution. Instead, they will help you open a new account at their institution and install some fraud protection on that account. If anything outside of this is happening, the entire conversation is suspect.
Please talk to everyone you know and love about this topic. If you are unsure of your own skills, find someone you trust that you can talk to in such a situation, or help your loved ones find such a person. Remember, these people prey on fear - keeping you afraid of everyone and pretending to be your only friend.
My client, while far from rich, will now have to live on Social Security for the rest of his life. Fortunately, he still owns his home. But rather than leaving a bit to his children, he will now be dependent on his children for anything beyond his very limited means.