By Dale Gribow

In the last few months the Desert Sun and Los Angeles Times have published many articles about SCAMS. For the most part they are variations of what I write about herein and they focus on the elderly who they often meet in church or neighborhood groups such as a cigar or book club.

You may receive a call offering you the DISH network and a major discount if you pay up front for 6 months. They ask you to go to the store to purchase GREEN DOT Moneypak cards to pay for the upfront costs. As soon as you read the card numbers to them the money will be gone.

A common homeowner scam is when someone drives up to your home and suggests high priced and needless repairs to your roof, decking or installing an alarm system. They again ask up front for money. You know the rest of the story.


During the tax season it is common to get fake emails for more information to process your federal income tax refund or an email or letter for unclaimed power ball prizes. Up front money is again required.

You may be offered a LOAN but have to pay upfront fees. Be wary anytime you purchase a green dot card. Instead put money in another prepaid card or wire the money quickly.

Some scammers will steal a LOGO and names of well-known retailers and banks and try to seem legitimate. The Federal Trade Commission is warning of emails with the subject line “Pending consumer complaint” and then ask you to click on a link or attachment for more info or to contact FTC using their phoney number.

The Grandparent Scam involves someone calling or emailing as an alleged relative/friend who may say he/she has just had a crisis in Europe and is contacting you for money to get back to the US. They beg you not to call their parents as they sob away. After you wire money they try to get more. Anyone can set up a phony email account to contact you and pretend to be a friend or relative IN NEED.

In the Jury Duty Scam someone calls pretending to be a court official who says a warrant has been issued for your arrest because you didn’t show up for jury duty. Sometimes they even ask you for a credit card number so they can process the cancellation. If you give out any information …your identity has just been stolen!

There are many Charity Frauds where people will call claiming to be collecting money for a worthwhile charity or at least something that sounds worthwhile. A deviation of this is the sweetheart scam when someone befriends an elderly person. It could be a neighbor, aide…..or relative. They gain info on your accounts and or convince you to change your will to leave everything to them. This is a form of Elder Abuse and you should seek legal assistance.

The Lottery or Advanced Fee Scam occur when they try to get you to pay for something you did not order such as a lottery winning or even an inheritance. They say you won a large prize and you have to send money to cover the costs for taxes etc.

The Computer Virus Scam is where someone allegedly calls from Microsoft advising you that you have a virus and they can get rid of it. They have you log into a website that lets them control your computer. Then they steal your ID.

During the summer the Time-Share Scam “heats up”. As we age we do not always want to keep our time shares. Someone contacts you offering to sell your timeshare and they try to get you to pay upfront fees.

With the Medical Scam someone calls with medical equipment on sale. It could be a heart monitor, CPAP, or a wheelchair etc. They ask for a deposit and your personal information and Medicaid number before they send this deeply discounted item.

Do not reply to emails requesting your banking info.
Do not believe promises of large amounts of money for your cooperation.
Do not provide your Medicare card info or your Social Security number.
Do not fall for promises of fast profits.
Do not invest with anyone without researching them and their company. As my dad use to say…”if it is too good to be true it probably is not true.”

During the summer we all drink too much in the sun. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE, CALL A TAXI………IT IS A LOT CHEAPER THAN HIRING ME!

Dale Gribow has been “Rated” TOP LAWYER by Palm Springs Life Magazine from 2011-2014 and has a Superb AVVO Legal Rating by his fellow attorneys. Dale Gribow has been Man of the Year 7 times including the City of Palm Desert and the City of Hope and Dale Gribow Day has been declared 4 times. He is the only attorney appointed in December 2013 to the Coachella Valley Association of Government’s Public Safety Ad Hoc Blue Ribbon Committee addressing Drunk Driving. This group consists of the police chiefs from every city and the mayor of each city as well as the Sheriff of Riverside County and the head of the CHP and Border Patrol. In addition Gribow is the only attorney asked to be part of the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Health Matters Committee addressing Drunk Driving. Gribow is also one of the founders of Shutdown Drunk Driving formed upon the death of his client who was killed by a drunk driver while jogging recently.

If you have any questions regarding this column or ideas for future columns please contact Dale Gribow Attorney at Law at his NEW number 760 837 7500 and or his new email: