Category Archives: Caring for Seniors

FBI Common Fraud Schemes

Scam Book from Amazon

Scam Book from Amazon

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FBI Common Fraud Schemes


The world has always been full of scammers. However, because of communications that are worldwide, by telephone and the Internet and by mail, etc., scamming is a multi-billion-dollar business.

There are as many way of scaming as there are activities envoling money. Credit card scams, medical scams, arrest warrant scams, online dating scams, counterfeit merchandise scams, employment scams, fake check scams, fake loan scams, grant scams, lottery scams, phishing scams and rental scams for a few.


Following are some of the scams covered by the FBI. You will learn how to fight scam and to protect yourself. I will give information only on the telemarketing scams as an example. Go to the site to learn how to fight each scam.

Note that the FBI does not cover all scams. Beware!

Telemarketing Scams (FBI Report)

Years ago when we lived in Arizona, we looked after an old lady who lived alone. Everyone so  often I would get a call from her which would go something like this: John, I have just won $200,000.00.

I would tell her to do absolutely nothing and that I would be right over.

One time she said that her money was coming from Readers Digest. I told her that Readers Digest would not ask her for money and for her bank information.

She still wouldn’t believe me. I called Reader’s Digest and let her talk to the person there assuring her that the offer was not from them and and that she should not pay any money, the sum of $2000.00 of the scammers from Montréal were looking for.

Of course, I called Toronto and reported it to their anti-scam bureau.

From the FBI

Here are some warning signs of telemarketing fraud—what a caller may tell you:

“You must act ‘now’ or the offer won’t be good.”

“You’ve won a ‘free’ gift, vacation, or prize.” But you have to pay for “postage and handling” or other charges.

“You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier.” You may hear this before you have had a chance to consider the offer carefully.

“You don’t need to check out the company with anyone.” The callers say you do not need to speak to anyone including your family, lawyer, accountant, local Better Business Bureau, or consumer protection agency.

“You don’t need any written information about the company or their references.”

“You can’t afford to miss this ‘high-profit, no-risk’ offer.”

If you hear these or similar “lines” from a telephone salesperson, just say “no thank you” and hang up the telephone.

Tips for Avoiding Telemarketing Fraud:

It is very difficult to get your money back if you have been cheated over the telephone. Before you buy anything by telephone, remember:

Don’t buy from an unfamiliar company. Legitimate businesses understand that you want more information about their company and are happy to comply.

Always ask for and wait until you receive written material about any offer or charity. If you get brochures about costly investments, ask someone whose financial advice you trust to review them. But beware—not everything written down is true.

Always check out unfamiliar companies with your local consumer protection agency, Better Business Bureau, state attorney general, the National Fraud Information Center, or other watchdog groups. However, not all bad businesses can be identified through these organizations.

Obtain a salesperson’s name, business identity, telephone number, street address, mailing address, and business license number before you transact business.

Some con artists give out false names, telephone numbers, addresses, and business license numbers—verify the accuracy of these items.

Before you give money to a charity or make an investment, find out what percentage of the money is paid in commissions and what percentage actually goes to the charity or investment.

Before you send money, ask yourself a simple question: “What guarantee do I really have that this solicitor will use my money in the manner we agreed upon?”

Don’t pay in advance for services; pay only after they are delivered.

Be wary of companies that want to send a messenger to your home to pick up money, claiming it is part of their service to you. In reality, they are taking your money without leaving any trace of who they are or where they can be reached.

Always take your time making a decision. Legitimate companies won’t pressure you to make a snap decision.

Don’t pay for a “free prize.”

If a caller tells you the payment is for taxes, he or she is violating federal law.

Before you receive your next sales pitch, decide what your limits are—the kinds of financial information you will and won’t give out on the telephone.

Be sure to talk over big investments offered by telephone salespeople with a trusted friend, family member, or financial advisor. It is never rude to wait and think about an offer.

Never respond to an offer you don’t understand thoroughly.

Never send money or give out personal information such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, dates of birth, or social security numbers to unfamiliar companies or unknown persons.

Be aware that your personal information is often brokered to telemarketers through third parties.

If you have been victimized once, be wary of persons who call offering to help you recover your losses for a fee paid in advance.

If you have information about a fraud, report it to state, local, or federal law enforcement agencies.

Here is what I do:

I don’t answer any call that is not identified on caller ID and if the caller is not someone I know. I never pay for anything over the telephone. I have all offers sent to me by mail. I don’t give to any charity that is not on my safe list. I never give to police, military or humanitarian organizations which are full of fraud.

Read About the Following Scams at the FBI Site

Nigerian Letter or “419” Fraud

Identity Theft

Advance Fee Schemes

Health Care Fraud or Health Insurance Fraud

Redemption / Strawman / Bond Fraud

Investment-Related Scams

Letter of Credit Fraud

Prime Bank Note Fraud

“Ponzi” Schemes

“Ponzi” Schemes

Market Manipulation (“Pump and Dump”) Fraud


Always call your local police if you have concerns about fraud. You can contact your state’s attorney journal for information.


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Thought for the Day November 3, 2014: A Healthy Body

Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health. Dalai Lama (thanks to

I believe that parents need to make nutrition education a priority in their home environment. It’s crucial for good health and longevity to instill in your children sound eating habits from an early age. Cat Cora (thanks to

Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory. Albert Schweitzer (thanks to

HCI logoMy Welch grandfather told me that every morning I should get up and take deep breaths. That was a secret to good health. He died in his mid-90s in 1951 when I was fighting Chinese in Korea (which is not good for your health.)

Old people are always being asked their “secret to old age.” There are a myriad of answers. Some some say it is because all the life of hard work. Some say it is a glass of whiskey every day. George Burns probably would’ve said that it was a fine cigar. The best answer is, that the person inherited good genes.

Health 1Heredity is important to good health. But so is nutrition and exercise. We should all try to eat properly, it’s difficult of that is in this day and age, and to at least take a walk daily.

I will admit that the reason I am 82 years old is partly, or mainly, because of modern-day medicine. The techniques that have kept me alive through four heart procedures did not exist when I was born. They did not exist until after World War II.

The first coronary bypass surgery was performed at the Cleveland Clinic where my daughter and her husband work. My son-in-law and others on the surgical team at the Clinic advised me and my doctors on my latest procedures. They have done a great deal of work on less invasive surgery such as I received in August. It is the largest heart program in the world.

health 2I did not have to go to the Cleveland clinic for surgery. I went to the Intermountain Heart and Lung Hospital in Murray Utah and the surgeon who replaced my aortic file nine years ago was on the surgical team for this risky second aortic valve replacement.

I have type II diabetes. I am under medical treatment for that too. In my opinion, too many old people die when proper medical treatment is not provided (or when improper medical treatment is provided.)

There is a mental attitude among medical professionals in some areas that old folks should just be allowed to die.

So your good health depends on good nutrition, exercise and proper medical surveillance. If you have good health, you have exactly what you need to do and accomplish those things that you love to do.

Here’s to your good health!


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Thought For the Day September 20, 2014 Estate Planning

HCI logoWhen you are as old as I am, you need to think about your loved ones so that when you kick the bucket, they will be cared for. To do that I have a Living Trust and a Last Will and Testament as part of that trust. So when I die, there will be no probate as when a person dies intestate because there is no will  or trust.

I’m fortunate in that I have three doctors, a nurse, a veterinarian and an attorney looking out for me, my children. My attorney son prepared my trust before my heart surgery last month. It will assure that my invalid wife and my children inhere what ever is left after I die.

farmerI just had a friend die who wanted his farm to go to his son but because he did not do things correctly and soon enough, the farm will have to be sold and will not be part of the family as he wished. Because he did not take things seriously soon enough, there is a big squabble that is dividing and destroying the family. I can understand why 8 of 10 children (and don’t forget the spouses) want to get their hands on the money from his accounts and from the sell of the farm.

His wishes are not going to be fulfilled.

A living trust should not cost you more than a couple of hundred dollars in attorney fees. If you are being clipped for $500, run! Ask the fees before you start. I suggest that you contact your financial adviser before you talk to an attorney. It may be best to have him handle the whole thing.

Or, you can do it yourself. There are website what provides such legal documentation at low cost. You might read a book first. Click on blue link for a list of living trust and wills software and books.



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Home Instead Senior Care


bed 2The good Lord looked down on me some years ago. A young man came to our door and said that as part of our financial planning, we should have long-term care insurance. He said that long-term care could eat up all of our retirement income and that nothing would be left to our children.


None of us know the future, but my life has dementia and requires full-time care. That care which costs over $50,000 each year in paid by my insurance company. My insurance also now pays her premiums.


It actually costs less to take care of a person at home than in a nursing home. I don’t want my wife in a nursing home, and even if I didn’t have insurance, she would still be at home. Taking care of her it is my responsibility as long as I can do that. After that, my children understand that it is their responsibility.


Now sometimes, it is essential to put a person into a nursing home. I understand that. But I know that at times people in nursing homes are neglected or abused. I can’t allow that to happen. It is a good reason to be very careful when you select a nursing home. You should check with the state you live for any violations by a particular nursing home.


Think about your future and the future of your loved ones. What will your future needs be?




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