Monterey County Elder Abuse Alert : Scammers Posing As The Police

The Monterey police are warning local residents of a phone scam where callers identify themselves as law enforcement and demand payment, threatening you with arrest if you don’t comply.  Some identify themselves with the actual names of local or federal law enforcement.  They will ask you to buy bitcoin or gift cards and then read the serial numbers off of the cards.  Your caller ID may show the call is coming from a local law enforcement agency, the FBI or the IRS.  If you receive a suspicious call, you can contact the Monterey Police Department at 646-3830 or 646-3914.

https://www.montereyherald.com/2021/02/26/monterey-police-warn-residents-of-phone-scams/?utm_email=7404B4F5358244C5647B14D271&g2i_eui=B5dv00xjia5jtX%2fZFTuOn45qYHnjNzVq&g2i_source=newsletter&utm_source=listrak&utm_medium=email&utm_term=https%3a%2f%2fwww.montereyherald.com%2f2021%2f02%2f26%2fmonterey-police-warn-residents-of-phone-scams%2f&utm_campaign=norcal-monterey-morning-report&utm_content=automated

 

Pacific Grove, CA Elder Abuse Alert : Customer Service Scams

AARP Bulletin had an elder abuse alert for our area.  The article profiled a 75-year old man who saw a charge on his credit card that he didn’t recognize for Amazon Prime.  He did a google search for Amazon’s phone number and called the number, which turned out to be fake.  They asked him to confirm his credit card number, as well as his Social Security number.  “Scammers will buy and place fake ads that often elude the filters for the online search engines,” Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser told AARP Bulletin.  They also tricked him into buying gift cards.  “When people are searching for customer service numbers, they are in a hurry and quickly scan for the first phone number they see,” he said.  Scammers are targeting Monterey County, and in particular rich pockets like Carmel-by-the-sea, Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach.

Peninsula Elder Abuser Makes Cover Of Monterey County Weekly

I’ve written many times on my blog about the myriad elder abusers preying on seniors on the Monterey Peninsula.  John Osborne had the honor of being on the cover of Monterey County Weekly, exposed for being arrested on more than two dozen felony counts for fraud and other financial schemes.  In one case, over a period of roughly 15 years he defrauded Claude Wilson, an elderly U.S. Army veteran, out of his life savings of nearly $1 million.  Now 84, Wilson’s neighbor, George Gerena who has dementia and will need 24-hour care for the rest of his life, was talked into giving power of attorney to Osborne.  Shortly thereafter, Gerena’s house went into foreclosure and was sold to a distressed asset company, who then sold the house back to a company which was in the name of Osborne and Wilson.   Elder Abuse is so prevalent on the Monterey Peninsula that the Public Guardian and Adult Protective Services have a task force to fight fraud.  The U.S. Department of Justice set up a hotline to report elder abuse and can be reached at 1-833-372-8311.  You can also call our local Adult Protective Services office at 1-800-510-2020.

https://www.ojp.gov/news/ojp-blogs/2020-ojp-blogs/national-hotline-helps-victims-elder-financial-fraud

http://mcdss.co.monterey.ca.us/aging/

 

Carmel, CA & Pebble Beach, CA Are Hot Spots For Elder Abuse Scams

Because of the wealth in Carmel and Pebble Beach, there continue to be a number of reports of financial elder abuse.  Sadly, most scams are carried out by close friends or family.  Stay alert, and never give out your passwords or other information that can give someone access to your accounts.  Shockingly, one case locally involved someone getting a woman to sign over the deed to her house.  She had dementia, and didn’t realize what she was doing.  If you suspect that you or a loved one is the victim of elder abuse, contact Monterey County Adult Protective Services at 1-800-510-2020 or go the website below.  According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, suspicious activity reports (SARS) on the exploitation of the elderly quadrupled from 2013 to 2017.  The U.S. Department of Justice set up a hotline to report fraud in March of last year.  They can be reached at 1-833-372-8311.

http://mcdss.co.monterey.ca.us/aging/

https://www.ojp.gov/news/ojp-blogs/2020-ojp-blogs/national-hotline-helps-victims-elder-financial-fraud

 

Monterey, CA Elder Abuse Alert : Customer Service Scams

AARP Bulletin had an elder abuse alert for our area.  The article profiled a 75-year old man who saw a charge on his credit card that he didn’t recognize for Amazon Prime.  He did a google search for Amazon’s phone number and called the number, which turned out to be fake.  They asked him to confirm his credit card number, as well as his Social Security number.  “Scammers will buy and place fake ads that often elude the filters for the online search engines,” Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser told AARP Bulletin.  They also tricked him into buying gift cards.  “When people are searching for customer service numbers, they are in a hurry and quickly scan for the first phone number they see,” he said.  Scammers are targeting Monterey County, and in particular rich pockets like Carmel-by-the-sea and Pebble Beach.

Carmel, CA Elder Abuse Alert : Customer Service Scams

AARP Bulletin had an elder abuse alert for our area.  The article profiled a 75-year old man who saw a charge on his credit card that he didn’t recognize for Amazon Prime.  He did a google search for Amazon’s phone number and called the number, which turned out to be fake.  They asked him to confirm his credit card number, as well as his Social Security number.  “Scammers will buy and place fake ads that often elude the filters for the online search engines,” Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser told AARP Bulletin.  They also tricked him into buying gift cards.  “When people are searching for customer service numbers, they are in a hurry and quickly scan for the first phone number they see,” he said.

Carmel, CA Elder Abuse Alert

Although anyone can be a victim of the many scams that criminals are carrying out now, data from the Federal Trade Commission shows that consumers age 80 and older are far more likely to be scammed by phone and lose the most money, a median of $1,250.  “Even if you do everything perfectly, you can still be susceptible to fraud,” Shameka Walker, a fraud and identity theft program manager at the FTC, told Kiplinger’s Retirement Report.  Most scammers are hacking in to find your email address and hawking you products that you may have been searching for.  Other popular scams are selling fake COVID-19 vaccines and PPE equipment to protect against the virus. Seniors living in Carmel, Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach are particularly vulnerable as these crooks target high-income areas.

Marvel Comics Creator Stan Lee Suffered From Elder Abuse

There was a sad elder abuse story in AARP The Magazine about Stan Lee, the mastermind behind Marvel Entertainment which produced movies based on Lee’s character which grossed more than $22 billion at the box office.  That’s double the box office of all of the Star Wars movies combined.  Not only was he abused early on in his career—never owning a stake in any Marvel characters but simply earning a salary—later in life he was severely taken advantage of.  The company was sold in 2009 to Walt Disney for $4 billion.  But since Stan didn’t own a stake he had to resort to going to trade shows like Comic Con to sign autographs for $120 each.  The story talks to someone who shot a video of him when at age 95, his handlers had to actually tell him his name and spell it so that he could sign autographs.  Between his assistants, his daughter and others, money quickly evaporated as Lee moved into dementia.  One of his security team reportedly paid himself a management fee of $700K in 2017 while giving Lee $50K.  Another employee apparently forged Lee’s signature and took $4.6 million out of his Merrill Lynch account.  His daughter at the same time was earning $7,000 a month to help brainstorm ideas that might capitalize on her father’s name.  There are a number of court cases pending in this terrible case.

https://www.aarp.org/entertainment/celebrities/info-2020/stan-lee-elder-abuse.html

Pebble Beach, CA Elder Abuse Alert

There is no end to the number of scams being tried on seniors, particularly in the area of coronavirus.  The isolation from COVID-19 has exacerbated the problem, and a new report from the Federal Trade Commission said that scammers initiated contact with older adults online more often than they did by phone for the first time ever in the second quarter of 2020.  Adults 60+ were nearly 6x as likely as younger adults to lose money on tech support scams.  Those in Carmel and Pebble Beach are targeted more than other areas because of the wealth in this area.  If you think you have been scammed, call the National Elder Fraud hotline at 833-372-8311 and report it to the FTC by visiting the agency’s website or calling 877-382-4357.  It also wouldn’t hurt to call Monterey County Adult Protective Services at 1-800-510-2020 if you think other local residents could be targeted.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-protect-seniors-from-online-fraud-and-phone-scams-11611410401?mod=djem10point

Pebble Beach, CA Elder Abuse Alert

Although anyone can be a victim of the many scams that criminals are carrying out now, data from the Federal Trade Commission shows that consumers age 80 and older are far more likely to be scammed by phone and lose the most money, a median of $1,250.  “Even if you do everything perfectly, you can still be susceptible to fraud,” Shameka Walker, a fraud and identity theft program manager at the FTC, told Kiplinger’s Retirement Report.  Most scammers are hacking in to find your email address and hawking you products that you may have been searching for.  Other popular scams are selling fake COVID-19 vaccines and PPE equipment to protect against the virus.