IRS: “You owe back taxes and will be arrested and receive a large fine and jail time if you do not settle this NOW!”

Police: “We are raising money for officers injured in the line of duty. How much will be you donating today?”

Utility Company: “We will be shutting off your electricity TODAY if you don’t pay the past-due amount on your bill now.”

Government Clerk: “You have unclaimed property with the State. Upon payment of a small fee, we will release it to you.”

Jury Duty Clerk: “I’m calling from the Indio Courthouse and you missed jury duty. Pay $400 or go to Jail.”


Puppy Breeder: If you are a dog lover you should know we just received a beautiful litter of purebred Poodles”

Ticket Seller: “We are an affiliate of a major ticket vendor. Therefore we can get you seats for any major concert at a much discounted price”

Bank Verifier: “We have uncovered a major data problem with your checking account. Please verify this information so we can confirm things and fix the error”

Big Winner Announcer: “I’m from the Canadian Lottery and you have won $1Million! After you pay the import tax and fee we will send you your winnings.”

The Doctor Representative: “Recent research shows conclusively that these new capsules will stop your disease in its tracks.”

Long-distance lover: “During these weeks of chatting I have fallen in love with you. If you send money for a plane ticket I will catch the next plane and then the magic will happen”

Military Rep: “I’m from the VA, and you are entitled,  as an ex-soldier, to benefits from  this program. I just need to know…”

Social Media Scams:  With online shopping scams, ads are posted for too-good-to-be-true deals on hot items, like designer eyewear. The ads can show up as a legitimate sponsored post, or in a friend’s Facebook timeline (a sure sign their account has been hacked). The goal is to get your credit card information to charge you for phony goods and steal your personal information for identity theft.

Genealogy site scams: The scammers are trying to trick people with lookalikes of legitimate sites, or offering ancestry research for free. The site directs you to submit personal information with the goal of stealing your identity.

BEWARE, as Low prices for hot items are a red flag. Clicking on the ad leads to imposter social media pages resembling popular brands and companies.

Be wary of sponsored ads that appear to feature well-known genealogy websites – even if the advertised link looks legitimate. It is very easy to change the name of links to appear that they are coming from a reputable source.

If an ad appears on your profile, change your password immediately. Also, remove all suspicious apps from your account that can automatically post content.

If you paid for a product through one of these scam sites, alert your bank or credit card company to cancel the transaction.

Before signing up to find out about your ancestors, search for the name of the company, and verify its reputation on genealogy forums and Facebook groups.

Report Fraud and ID Theft:

Inspector General 1-800-269-0271 or via

Fraud alert hotline:  855 303 9470 or

FTC ID Theft Hotline 877 ID Theft/

SS hotline 800 269 0271/

Equifax: 800 525 6285/

Experian: 888 397 3742/

Transunion: 800 680 7289/

Keep the above numbers and information

They say “Forewarned is Forearmed!!!!” and “People Don’t Plan to Fail, They Fail to Plan”. So Plan Ahead and be aware of your surroundings.

Ideas for future columns? 760-837-7500 or


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

 “TOP LAWYER”- Inland Empire Magazine Nov 2016

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