How Not To Get Hooked By A "Phishing" Scam

Written by Dean Phillips

First of all, for those of you unfamiliar withrepparttar term, "Phishing" is a high-tech scam that uses spam or pop-up messages to deceive you into disclosing your credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords, or other sensitive information.

Phishers send an e-mail or pop-up message that claims to be from a business or organization that you deal with--for example, your Internet service provider (ISP), bank, online payment service, or even a government agency. The message usually says that you need to "update" or "validate" your account information.

It might even threaten some dire consequence if you donít respond. The message directs you to a website that looks exactly like a legitimate organizationís site, but it's not. The purpose ofrepparttar 127538 bogus site is to trick you into divulging your personal information sorepparttar 127539 fraudsters can steal your identity and your money and run up bills or commit crimes in your name.

Recent phishing victims include Yahoo, Citibank, eBay, Best Buy and Bank of America among others.

The Federal Trade Commission, (FTC)repparttar 127540 nationís consumer protection agency, suggests these tips to help you avoid getting hooked by a phishing scam:

If you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply or click onrepparttar 127541 link inrepparttar 127542 message. Legitimate companies donít ask for this information via email. If you are concerned about your account, contactrepparttar 127543 organization inrepparttar 127544 e-mail using a telephone number you know to be genuine, or open a new Internet browser session and type inrepparttar 127545 company's correct web address. DO NOT click onrepparttar 127546 link inrepparttar 127547 e-mail message.

Donít e-mail personal or financial information. E-mail is not a secure method of transmitting personal information. If you initiate a transaction and want to provide your personal or financial information through an organizationís website, look for indicators thatrepparttar 127548 site is secure, like a lock icon onrepparttar 127549 browserís status bar or a URL for a website that begins "https:" (the "s" stands for "secure").

WARNING! Living Trust Scams Targeting our Seniors

Written by Barbara Mascio

Don't loose Medicaid Benefits because of a Living Trust!

My grandmother recently responded to a post card advertising piece received inrepparttar mail. The company that sentrepparttar 127537 post card eluded that they were 'approved' by AARP and maderepparttar 127538 claim "The Choice is Yours: Sacrifice Your Assets torepparttar 127539 State or Protect Your Loved Ones."

Grandma did not think to call me, or anyone else inrepparttar 127540 family. She thought this post card was expecting her response, and so she called and set an appointment forrepparttar 127541 company's representative to visit her at home.

This representative created 'common ground' almost immediately with my grandma. One quick look around her home and you see photographs and other evidence of a very family-oriented, religious woman. Grandma was immediately put at ease atrepparttar 127542 friendly, self described 'Christian' who claimed to sharerepparttar 127543 same family values as grandma.

Once trust was created, he then began to educate my grandmother onrepparttar 127544 'horrors' of probate and the, as he put it, 'untrue legal advice attorneys provide while attempting to create more revenue for themselves.'

This company is selling Living Trusts to older unsuspecting elders, charging $800 to guarantee that their estate will not go through probate, guarantee thatrepparttar 127545 final wishes outlined inrepparttar 127546 Will are carried out properly and claimed this Living Trust will save 'thousands of dollars'.

Although an attorney owns this company,repparttar 127547 local representatives are not attorneys. They are sales people, selling one product for a commission. They are not there to serverepparttar 127548 elder's best interests. A Living Trust is not a 'one-size-fits-all'. In fact, there are varieties of Trusts available with logical and useful applications, however, not every senior is in need of such a legal document.

When grandma decided to call me to ask my opinion, I did what most consumers would do. I checkedrepparttar 127549 Better Business Bureau and found no complaints. I then went torepparttar 127550 AARP site, which this firm claimed had endorsed their company.

Sure enough, this company is listed onrepparttar 127551 AARP site for a fee. I found this company by going to Member Services and clicking on 'Financial Services' and then did a keyword search forrepparttar 127552 company. Members Financial Services

I had to really dig into this site to findrepparttar 127553 AARP disclaimer. Most consumers would not have thought to do this, in fact, at first glance; it appeared as though this company was 'endorsed' by AARP. I personally, found this to be a disappointment consideringrepparttar 127554 fact that AARP wants to be considered an 'authority' on elder care issues.

I foundrepparttar 127555 disclaimer in an article on Estate Planning/Articles It says, inrepparttar 127556 middle ofrepparttar 127557 article, AARP does not sell or endorse any living trust products. AARP does not work cooperatively with any company that sells or promotes living trust documents. AARP does not give such companiesrepparttar 127558 names or addresses of its members.

Dispelling Myths

Deciding on whether or not a Trust is in your best interest is best left to an elder-law attorney or an eldercare financial planner. A Senior Approved service, available in Ohio, that can help personalize Medicaid planning is Raymond James Financial Services

I have learned a few pointers:

Medicare and Medicaid planning varies state by state. In Ohio, Medicaid does NOT consider your home a 'Countable Resource', if you meetrepparttar 127559 following rule:

The Ohio Medicaid rule is: "The home and contiguous land is exempt as long as it is occupied byrepparttar 127560 Medicaid recipient or by

  1. the CS (community spouse)

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