I get new text message DINGS, all the time. The latest are from financial institutions, like a bank, notifying you of an unauthorized activity in your account. It asks you to respond to the link ASAP. I get nervous every time I get a text like this, as I know there are lots of phone scams and never know if this is the real one. My initial instinct is to drop everything and respond. Then I think, it is likely a scam.

These SCAM artists pretend to be from banks, credit card co’s and investment mgt com’s. These scammers prey on our fear of losing money. Unfortunately when you respond to the text link you open the door for them to get your personal info. Unfortunately I am a lawyer and not a tekki (I don’t even know if this the correct spelling).

The best advice is to never respond to a text from your bank, or other financial entity, via the link or phone number in the text. A better idea is to call the company, using the number on the back of your credit card or the number you have for the entity.

Don’t trust Caller ID. Scammers now know how to fake the name for the caller, listing it as IRS, RSO, or a bank or financial institution co. I personally received one from The Riverside County Sheriffs, that they were on their way to ARREST ME for something, like missing jury duty or not paying a tix. Fortunately, I was friends with the Sheriff of our County, and called him on his cell. He explained it was just a common scam going around the greater Palm Springs Community.


Never share your info (SS, Password, username, credit card or bank acct numbers, birth date etc). The bottom line is to ALWAYS BEWARE, especially here in the CV, where there are more of us who are older and traditionally more susceptible to scams.

In addition, never accept money from an unknown source or accept money for someone else. If you’ve received money from an unknown person via Zelle® or other payment service, report it to Capital One, by calling the number on the back of your debit or credit card and on your statement. Scammers will ask you to send the money back to their accounts, but the payment they made to you will never clear or will be pulled back.

You must also be careful installing apps or software. Never pay over the phone and always verify orders directly with Amazon. Scammers always set up a sense of urgency. This is the same Call to Action, used in commercials on TV, when they say, “This offer is open for the next 15 minutes or next 12 customers.” So, be wary of false urgency that is used to prompt you to act without thinking it through.

There are a few suggestions to tell if it is a scam. The first way you can tell it’s a scam, is by simply looking at the sender’s email address. Large companies will never use a gmail email address.  Also, pay attention to grammar, punctuation, etc as all of these can be signs. However, with CHAT GBT scammers are able to clean up their act.

These fraudsters are trying to gain access to your computer, to obtain personal information and to steal your identity. This is why I use Charles Jarrot to protect me from scams. He protects his clients with Identity Guard. Not only does he monitor your identity, he also fixes the issue if /when it occurs. For those that asked for his info: you can call his new Palm Desert branch at 760-469-4000 or email charlesjarrot@benchmarkcr.com for the next 10 minutes….no, really anytime!