Christmas is a time for buying gifts for family and friends…for most people. But there are those that do not wait for sales…they just obtain things by Scamming/Conning people. Santa looks out for who are naughty and nice and Santa will not be bringing gifts to these “naughty” people.

Holidays Deals: Deals, like many things in life, are not always what they seem to be. Our parents warned us if something is too good to be true, it probably isn’t. Initially we have to be careful when you see a “Deal”. If you see it on social media check out the reviews and search the internet on the retailer to see what comes up.

Gift Cards: Thieves go to the store and write down the numbers on gift cards and then call the 800 number to see if the card is activated… and then drain the card. They will not be seeing Santa this year either.

Prize Scams: This happens when you are contacted that you won a prize and then are told you have to pay a fee to collect. You may be told to wire money or deposit a check to get your winnings or you may be told you have to attend a meeting to win. If you did not enter you could not have won the prize……..think about it!


To be safe the Federal Trade Commission suggests looking up the promoter in a search engine with the words “scams” or “complaint”.

Virtual Kidnapping Scam: I received a call from someone almost every reader would know last weekend claiming he received a call that his grandson was in a bad accident and he needed money for medicals. Another offshoot of this is claiming a family member had been kidnapped. Sometimes it is the alleged good Samaritan and other times it is someone impersonating the family member before the alleged kidnapper takes the phone. This is a Nationwide Scam and sometimes the kidnapper sends a car to pick up the money or transport the conned party to the bank.

Home Cons: The scammer tells you your utility service will be cut off because of unpaid bills. If that happens, the Utility company will not call, but will mail you. Sometime the phony utility company asks for payments by a pre-paid debit card. Another scenario is getting visited by alleged technicians for an emergency inspection when you did not call.

Forged Deed Scam: This is one of the newest and scariest scams. A con artist, who is not on Santa’s good list, forges property ownership title documents. They are then recorded against your property so that the bad guy is now listed as the owner. He borrows money against it and you do not learn about this until you attempt to sell the property.

Theft of Credit Card information: Information can be stolen without taking the physical credit card by using an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device). It is half the size of a small laptop and costs less than $100. This card reading device, steals your personal info off your credit card’s tiny chip. If your card has the symbol of 4 waves )))) or says Pay Pass, Pay Wave or Blink it has RFID.

Your personal information is transferred from the RFID onto a hotel credit card sized room key. That becomes the new “credit card” which can be used to swipe and charge things against your account. To avoid this put your credit cards into a protective sleeve that has an aluminum lining which can be purchased locally at “It’s in the Bag” at Desert Crossing.

Remember forewarned is forearmed.

If you have ideas for future columns contact me at 760-837-7500 or


“TOP LAWYER” – Palm Springs Life-2011-18

“TOP LAWYER”- Inland Empire Magazine Nov 2016

PERFECT 10.0 AVVO Peer Rating