It's the circle of life.  When we're young, our parents watch over us.  They teach us right from wrong.

Our parents protect us from harm.

As we get older, it becomes our responsibility to take care of our parents and keep them from harm.

There are many bad actors, and unfortunately, the technology that has made life easier has also made it easier for those bad actors to harm those we love.

These are some of the active scams here in New Jersey.

  • The Police Widow's Fund

This is a high-pressure scam that involves a call by an official-sounding man.  He will ask if you support your police.

Of course, we do.  Then we are asked to contribute to a fund to help officers hurt in the line of duty.

The man on the phone will apply a lot of pressure to try to get a donation.  The pressure quickly escalates to anger and intimidation.

The police will NEVER call for donations.  As a rule of thumb, never give any banking information over the phone.

Once that information is out, their bank account will be drained in a matter of minutes.

  • The Desperate Friend Scam

This one plays on your parents' willingness to help a friend (or relative).

It starts with an urgent message informing your parents that a friend or relative is stranded somewhere.

Their wallet was stolen and they desperately need money to get home.  They then instruct your parents on how to transfer money to their location electronically.

Again, once they give their banking information, game over.

  • Tech Support Scams

This one is crazy.  There are YouTube channels that give you an inside peak into how these scams work (I recommend Scammer Payback).

Your parents receive an email that looks legit.  It even has an official-looking logo.

The message warns that their computer has been infected by malware, and they should immediately call the number provided so that the malware can be removed.

When they call the number, the helpful "rep" talks them through the process of sharing their computer.

Once they do, the scammer will have access to all your parents' banking information and will transfer all their money out in minutes.

These are just three common scams.  There are a ton more.

It's easy to think that no one would ever fall for that.

The scammers depend on you believing that.  Moreover, many parents are too embarrassed to admit they'd been had.

Never trust anyone you can't see.

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