Common Scams To Watch For


“The only means to strengthening one’s intellect, is to make up one’s mind about nothing – to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts.” – John Keats


This week instead of talking about the markets and the economy, I want to talk about common scams to watch for. Tragically, a couple that have been clients of our firm for over 25 years, was recently a victim of a common scam. 

This year, the Federal Trade Commission has received 5.7 million fraud and identity theft reports. In today’s digital world, there is a growing need to be mindful of what is potentially harmful. The following are common scams to watch for:

Phishing scams:

Cybercriminals send fake messages that appear to be from a legitimate organization, asking you provide personal or financial information by clicking a link or calling a phone number.

Tech support scams:

Imitate technical support personnel from a reputable company.

Lottery and sweepstakes scams:

Notify victims that they have won a large sum of money in a lottery or sweepstakes.

Charity donation scams:

Pretend to represent a legitimate charity or non-profit organization and ask for donations.

Investment scams:

 Promise high returns on investments with little or no risk, in exchange for your information. 

Romance scams:

Using fake online personas, criminals cultivate a pretend relationship until the victim feels comfortable and provides their personal or financial information.

Relative in distress scams: Using a fake voice which can be done with artificial intelligence to solicit money to get a friend or relative out of some kind of trouble.

Scams can originate from email, phone, test message, or social media. If you think it might be suspicious, call the company DIRECTLY using the phone number on the back of your debit card or call the bank directly.  Do NOT use any number they called from OR give you, or you can call our office. Scammers can be very sophisticated when trying to steal your money.

The clients mentioned above answered a tech support email which they thought was from Microsoft. They were forwarded to what they thought was their bank and the FBI telling them that their computer had been hacked. It is a long story and the scammers were completely believable. They told the clients that their Cambridge account with us was in danger of being hacked and they should remove the account and turn it into cash to purchase Bitcoin, which was subsequently stolen, due to the clients giving the Bitcoin information to who they thought was the FBI.

If anyone you don’t know or are suspicious of, asks for any personal information including account numbers or passwords, DO NOT give them any information. Chances are good that they are trying to scam you. 

The lesson is that with the scammers being so sophisticated these days, you should be suspicious of any attempt to get your personal and financial information. 

If you have friends or family in need of financial life planning services,

It would be the honor of Laurence Lof Financial Advisors to assist them.

We value your referrals!

These are Larry Lof’s opinions and not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for informational purposes only and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Due to our compliance review process, delayed dissemination of this commentary occurs.

The S&P 500 index of stocks compiled by Standard & Poor’s, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. The Index includes a representative sample of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. Indices mentioned are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.

Technical analysis represents an observation of past performance and trend, and past performance and trend are no guarantee of future performance, price, or trend. The price movements within capital markets cannot be guaranteed and always remain uncertain. The allocation discussed herein is not designed based on the individual needs of any one specific client or investor. In other words, it is not a customized strategy designed on the specific financial circumstances of the client. Please consult an advisor to discuss your individual situation before making any investments decision. Investing in securities involves risk of loss. Further, depending on the different types of investments, there may be varying degrees of risk including loss of original principal.

Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Laurence Lof Financial Advisors, LLC are not affiliated. Laurence Lof Financial Advisors 4757 E Camp Lowell Drive Tucson AZ 85712

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State Disclosure: Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SPIC. Investment advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Lof Laurence Lof Financial Advisors, LLC are not affiliated. Investment products and services available only to residents of: Arizona (AZ), California (CA), Colorado (CO), Florida (FL), Idaho (ID), Indiana (IN), Michigan (MI), Massachusetts (MA), Minnesota (MN), Montana (MT), North Carolina (NC), North Dakota (ND), New Mexico (NM), Oregon (OR), Ohio (OH), Pennsylvania (PA), Texas (TX), Virginia (VA), Wisconsin (Wl), Wyoming (WY). We are licensed to sell insurance products in the following states of: Arizona (AZ), California (CA), Colorado (CO), Florida (FL), Idaho (ID), Indiana (IN), Michigan (MI), Montana (MT), North Dakota (ND), New Mexico (NM), Oregon (OR), Pennsylvania (PA), Virginia (VA), Wisconsin (Wl).
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