OT: Scammers still at work

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.



Horrible story.

Always let the person on the other end of the phone know you will now hang up and find the number to call the given institution. Does not matter if the call is 100% legitimate make the call to the bank, insurer, or stockbroker. Make sure to hang up and call them if they call you first.

With AI and tech, all of it can be completely fabricated. By the day that is getting worse.


As of tonight, I am seeing a huge number of deep fake videos about comments between Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono. All of it made up but in his voice. Obnoxious stuff. All the pettiest stuff made up decades ago about the break up of the Beatles.

There are scamsters out there that can swipe homes as well. But they can only swipe a home with no mortgage on it. I recommend that a family member, perhaps an heir, place a small mortgage on the home (I mean BE the recorded lender), and file the note with the relevant local public record authority. I mean, like $1000 note or whatever, with no mortgage payment or anything required. Just so it is filed in the public records. That way, if someone fraudulently tries to transfer the deed, and then quickly sell it or mortgage it and abscond with the cash, that recorded mortgage needs to paid off first. And that part is much more difficult to do fraudulently. So difficult that the scamster will simply move on to the next home on their list that has been paid off and try their fraud there instead.


Not only do we need tougher laws but the laws should not be for country club federal prisons. Instead common burglary stuff criminals thrown in with the most violent offenders. And then kept separate…as we do not like people to be abused in prison. Worthless comment in practical terms.

We, society, do disaster drills with our first responders and occasionally with community members.
We train community members in CPR and other basic first aid.

We create drills to train automatic habit response skills for various disasters, so that people have a pre thought out plan for responding.

Perhaps drills that train people in how to recognize and avoid scams, and how to respond to potential scams might help.

We get “passive” alerts such as this story, and assume others see it and are able to internalize and use the “warning”.

But, in the emotions of the moment, some “automatic habit” responses might be useful?

Perhaps sit down with your favorite oldster and go through some scenarios?

Do it once or twice per year?

First responder organizations offer the disaster training drills.

Perhaps financial planners, or banks/ financial institutions could offer in-person financial scam alert drills/workshops?


If you’re gonna travel and are at risk for pick pockets, pull the target stuff out of your pockets, put it on a surface and plan how to respond?
I’ve a friend who could have benefitted from this exercise.

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When the scammers try to go after the violent offenders (or their outside relatives/friends), there WILL be consequences to the scammers.