Avoiding Scams During the Loss of a Loved One

The loss of a loved one is never an easy experience for a family, and people are often understandably distracted and overwhelmed with things to take care of. Unfortunately, scam artists often use the obituaries in the newspaper as a way to target potential victims. Here are some tips to help you or your loved ones avoid scams during times of loss: 

Protect Your Home: If funeral service dates and locations are listed in the newspaper obituary, scam artists will be able to tell when you will be away from home. And with friends and relatives visiting to pay their respects, neighbors may assume someone entering your house has permission to do so. To be safe, either ask a friend or neighbor to house sit while you’re away, or let your neighbors know your plans so they can look out for suspicious visitors. 

Know Who’s Calling: If you have caller ID on your home phone, make good use of it and don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. This will help you avoid calls from companies or individuals who are running cons. Remember: Any companies or people who pressure you during difficult times probably aren’t looking out for your best interests. 

Be Mindful of What You Pay:  As you are going through papers, pay all bills that you know are legitimate like the mortgage, utilities, credit cards, and car payments. Do not pay anything from unknown parties or companies, including invoices, investment opportunities, calls for orders placed, or calls for money owed. 

Get a Second Opinion: Sorting through paperwork can be overwhelming during times of loss. Consider asking a friend, family member, or even a trusted professional like an accountant or attorney to review any invoices or claims before you send a payment. 

Your Canyon Lakes Realtor,

SHARON SASSER WARREN                                                                                                                                                   Distinctive Properties, Inc.                                                                                                                                                        (509) 551-4393                                                                                                                                           swarren2@charter.net

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