Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 3, 2016

MVNews this week:  Page B:3



 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 3, 2016 



Electronic technology has brought about tremendous 
benefits for today’s society. We can access goods, services, 
and information, all at the touch of a button. The flip-side 
of that coin, however, is that this same technology has also 
spawned countless new opportunities for dishonesty and 

 It is unlikely that any person who has a telephone, 
cell phone, or computer has not been the subject of an 
attempted criminal act, or at least of a scam that may 
precede an actual crime.

 According to a survey by True Link Financial, 
approximately $12.76 billion is stolen from older Americans 
each year through identity theft and scams. To help protect 
yourself, be aware of the most common scams out there.


“I’m Calling from Microsoft Tech Support.”

If you receive a call from someone saying they are from 
Microsoft and a problem has been detected on your 
computer, don’t believe them. Microsoft does not make 
these types of calls. The people making the calls are 
trying to lead you to a website that will unleash malware 
designed to steal your user names and passwords for online 
accounts where they can access your banking and credit 
card information. If the caller gets you to go to a website, it 
may look very official, but remember, Microsoft will never 
contact you this way.

“I’m Calling from the Internal Revenue Service. “

According to the AARP Fraud Watch Network, this is one 
of the most often-reported scams. The caller will state that 
you either owe back taxes that must be paid immediately 
or that you are due a refund that can be collected online. 
In either case, the goal is to get you to a website that will 
launch malware on your computer in an attempt to seek 
your financial information and bank account numbers or 
that will facilitate the theft of your identity. The caller will 
likely sound very authoritarian and may even be able to 
state the last four digits of your social security number. But 
even if the caller gives you a number to call to “verify” that 
the call is from the IRS, or gives you a “case code number,” 
don’t participate. Like Microsoft, the IRS will never initiate 
contact with you by phone. Instead, it will always send a 
communication through the U.S. Postal Service.

Calls from No One

A common precursor to scam calls is a call on your phone 
where no one speaks. You may hear clicks on the other end. 
But rather than assume it was a wrong number, assume 
it was an automated call to validate a working telephone 
number that can be called later by a scammer. It is best to 
have caller identification on your phone and you may not 
want to answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize.

Chip Cards

The new chip cards for debit and credit use are much 
safer than magnetic swipe cards in that they change the 
code each time they are used. While that provides more 
protection when a retailer suffers a data breach, scammers 
are catching up quickly and using new and different tactics. 
They will send emails pretending to be from your financial 
institution stating that financial information must be 
provided via a particular linked website. The link will cause 
malware to be released which searches your computer 
for account numbers, passwords, and other financially 
sensitive information.

 The best rule to follow in thwarting scammers is to 
never navigate to a website or click on a link when directed 
to do so by an unsolicited caller. If you receive an e-mail 
or phone message asking you to call a number, don’t call 
that number. Instead, locate the appropriate number for 
the entity and call that number to determine whether the 
communication was legitimate.

 Yes, technology makes things much easier for us, but 
it also makes us more vulnerable. It is best to proceed 
with caution in all things financial and put the brakes on 
when things don’t quite add up. That’s where we can help. 
You see, we don’t just prepare estate planning documents 
for our clients and send them on their way. We develop 
ongoing, lifelong relationships which facilitate our clients’ 
protection and prosperity in ways traditional estate 
planning law firms don’t - and quite frankly, won’t. We’re 
here to support and advise our clients about more than just 
their estate plans – like a “suspicious” phone call from the 
IRS, for example. If that sounds like the kind of relationship 
you’d like with your lawyer, give us a call.

 Dedicated to your family’s health, wealth, and 

 A local attorney and father, Marc Garlett is on a mission 
to help parents protect what they love most. His office is 
located at 49 S. Baldwin Ave., Ste. G, Sierra Madre, CA 
91024. Schedule an appointment to sit down and talk about 
ensuring a legacy of love and financial security for your 
family by calling 626.587.3058 or visit 
for more information.

We’d like to hear from you! 

What’s on YOUR Mind?

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