Sadly, we are all receiving an unprecedented number of probate spams and scams by mail, email, text and telephone. Always know where a message, package or item comes from if it’s addressed to you. There are dubious personalities in our world who will unfortunately try to con you out of your money. You hear this all the time in the news. An elderly individual losing out on his or her money because of a scam that they fell victim to. It happens too often.
Be suspicious of mail, emails and/or texts that ask for you to do a favor, send money, buy gift cards, demand money, run an errand, allow for the quick payment of a bill, wire funds, get someone else out of a bind (jail, travel difficulties, etc.) by asking you to help.
Probate scammers might try and get in touch by phone, email, postal mail, text, or social media. Protect your money and your identity. Don’t share personal information like your bank account number, Social Security number, or date of birth.
PAUSE AND ASK ANOTHER PERSON. THEN, ASK ANOTHER AND ANOTHER.
Then, ask another person.
DO NOT TRUST THE TELEPHONE NUMBER OR EMAIL ADDRESS ON THE REQUEST.
Call a known phone number (not the phone number given to you in the email. Use Google). Or better yet, in person. Ask again. Be suspicious. These probate scams are an epidemic.
Probate Scams: Telephone Scam Examples
Scams may come through phone calls from real people, robocalls, or text messages. Callers often make false promises, such as opportunities to buy products, invest your money, or receive free product trials. They may also offer you money through free grants and lotteries. Some scammers may call with threats of jail or lawsuits if you don’t pay them.
The key is that scammers know how to lower a person’s normal suspicions to effectuate the probate scam. So, please ask yourself over and over again whether it is originating from a legitimate source. Be on alert. It happens daily and anyone can fall for a probate scam.
Probate Scams: Resources
The Federal Trade Commission has a federal government website where you can report fraud, scams, and bad business practices. You can also visit this website to learn how to avoid probate scams.