Commentary

Scammers can read the headlines, too

Con artists are aware of current events. The headlines prov ide the se crook s th e direc tion to ta ke to conju re up scam af ter sc am.

It, th en, is log ical to expec t the attac ks on the eld erly when the news of an adjustment to the cost- of- liv ing (COL A) would take affec t in January, 2012.

The first increase in two ye ars that pr ovides extra $1,100 this yea r is now the ta rget, Sid Kirchh ei me r of the A AR P Bul leti n writes.

This is how it work s. Contact is made betwe en the thief and you. The person pos ing as a Social Securit y Admin istrat ion offi ci al will explain the need to use direct deposit for the checks. It is much qu icker and a ver y safe way to transfer funds electronical ly. A list of ba nk s will be give n an d you ar e ask ed to id ent if y the ba nk you use. If the vic tim responds, then a number is read and you ar e asked if the number gi ven is found on the bottom of thei r checks?

It is highly unlikely they would corr ectly guess the bank number, so the natu ral thing is to correct them. Surely, the So cial Secu rit y checks should be cre dited to the proper accou nt.

Neal Buccino, of the New Jersey Consu me r Affairs says th e con artist will get the cor rected numb er. Th e nu mber with th e name of the bank is all th at is need ed to deple te yo ur fun ds .

Buccino war ns about another angle of the sc am. The cal ler may ask for a fee for a ser vice that is ro utin elyprovi de dwithout charge from SSA agent s.

We ar e not to assume that all calls from the So cial Sec urity Adm ini stration office is au to - mat ically classified as fraud. The proper action to ta ke is to hang up and you call the Social Securit y office. You know who you call, but you do not know who calls you .

Two big issues in thi s week’s news ar e the Ariz ona’s immigration law and the Af fordable Care Act . Crook s will use these court actions for tomorrow’s sc ams.

It’sjus tamatter oftime.

R EM INDE R— A rem inder from a prev ious column.

Ann Dyer of Rockda le does not need anyone to send money overseas.

She is in Milam Count y and never went to the Philippi nes.

She has never be en in the Philippines and has no desire to visit the Philippines.

Ann’s computer was in fected wit ha“wor m”thatgene rated fake e- ma ils to those in her e- mail address bo ok.

“I would never make a ple a for ass ista nc e like th is,” sh e said . Those getting such e-ma ils, asking for money, need to delete them immediately and not re spond.

tedh@myalpha1.com


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2012-07-05 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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