SCAMS – If it’s too good to be true…well you know!
This month I was planning to write an article covering the topic of conservatorships, however, an issue was brought to my attention this month that is of a more pressing nature. This month alone approximately ten clients have been the attempted victims of a scam. Luckily, none became actual victims. So, let me use this opportunity to discuss a few of the common scams that are running rampant as of today.
First- We all know about the “lottery scam” where a party, company, whoever tells you won a lottery. A lottery that is, that you never entered. That fact seems to elude most people. In order to claim the “prize” you must send money ahead of time (either for taxes, processing fees, etc). Well, you see where this is going. I suppose the first thing we must remember never (I mean never) send money via Western Union without personally knowing the recipient.
Second- This scam is fairly new and prevalent in our area. Scammers will often try to take advantage of the increased vulnerability of senior citizens who have recently lost a loved one. In one recent example, scammers would find targets by scouring the obituaries. They would then call the widow or widower and claim that their spouse had outstanding debts that needed to be paid immediately. Victims would then be persuaded to provide a blank check or credit card. Never fall victim to this scam. The reason probate was created was to protect creditors.
Third- This one is not per se illegal but still doesn’t pass the “smell test”. In this case, a very official letter arrives in the mail telling you that you “must send money in order to receive a certified copy of your deed” and that you must have a copy of your deeds in order to prove legal title. The letter I reviewed last month requested nearly $200.00 for this “service”. Please, understand that the reason the county recorder is around is to maintain the official property records of the county (among other things). In fact, if you would like a copy of your deed all you have to do is request one from the Recorder for a cost of less than $20.00.
No one is immune from scammers. In fact, as I type this article I am looking at a “certified cashiers” check that arrived in the mail from the Caribbean for a substantial sum for a client my office never represented. All “they” want in return is a large amount of personal information….so, if the check clears this may by my last article.
If you receive something in the mail, or a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. When in doubt, have an adult child, a family friend, or a professional review any offer before signing. For more information regarding scams please visit www.raxterlaw.com/scams
Good luck. Do not be a victim, knowledge is power.
Jeremiah Raxter, Esq.
Attorney & Counselor at Law
27851 Bradley Rd, Suite 145
Menifee, Ca 925986