Thursday, October 27, 2011

Scam Alert: The Fake Referral Scam

Scam Alert: The Fake Referral Scam

In our continuing and unfortunately never-ending mission to expose scams, here's a new one called the Fake Referral. I found out about this scam this morning and if you know about it, you can protect ;yourself. Scammers and criminals are getting more and more clever in their efforts to steal your money. Here's the latest one, the Fake Referral Scam.

Here's how the Fake Referral Scam works: Someone claiming to be a financial planner etc. calls you and says "so and so referred me to you". Sounds legit, right? Well it isn't because that is not how professionals make referrals. Don't fall for the Fake Referral Scam. Professionals, like me, make referrals differently. If a client asks me to refer them to an accountant for example, I will provide my client with several names of accountants that I trust. I will never call the accountant and give them a client's name and number.

Tips to Protect Yourself from the Fake Referral Scam:

1. Get referrals from the referring professional directly.

2. If you get a call like this, either hang up, or call the professional who supposedly has made the referral and ask if they did so.

3. Write down the callers name and phone number and consider referring the caller to the proper authorities.

If you follow these three suggestions, you can avoid this latest scam, the Fake Referral Scam.

Let me know what you think and please join our conversation. Thank you as always for your interest.

Bernie Greenberg

Monday, October 24, 2011

Banging the Estate Planning Drum

Many people wonder why I'm always talking about estate planning. Well that's easy. Estate planning is one of the most important gifts that you can give to your family and yourself. Through even the most basic plan, you can protect your family and yourself from disability and unplanned, untimely death. What could be more important?

Well, even though the media is constantly filled with articles about the importance of estate planning, less than 20% of people in the U.S. have even a simple Will and Powers of Attorney. Given how important protecting our families is, this is an alarming statistic.

So, to drive attention about the importance of estate planning, I bang the drum for it. Hopefully you read my posts and articles and one of them may spark your interest in this area. Do you know what would happen to your family if you were incapacitated or if you died unexpectedly? If you don't, and you want to make sure what you want to happen does, then planning your estate is for you.

So now you know why I am always posting about estate planning. Do you have questions about how this applies to you? Just ask and I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have. You can call, send me an email, or respond here. You can get all my contact info by clicking on the tab at the top of our website page at and you can find me.

Thank you for your interest and I hope you join our conversation.

Bernie Greenberg

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Going To Florida? Better Review Your Estate Plan First!

The good news, a trip to Florida is in your plans. The other news? You may want to have your estate plan reviewed before you go!

The New Florida Power of Attorney Law

As of October 1, 2011, Florida rocked the legal world by adopting one of the strictest Power of Attorney laws in the U.S. See, Florida Statutes, ss. 709.2101-709.2402.
This new law will definitely affect you even if you are just traveling through or visiting Florida.

The new Florida requirements may make your existing Powers of Attorney obsolete if you are in Florida and get sick or injured. Clients of our firm already have compliant documents for Florida, however, if you are considering traveling to Florida, it's time for a review meeting.

How To Protect Yourself:

1. If you have a Power of Attorney, call your attorney and schedule a review.

2. If you don't have a Power of Attorney, call your estate planning attorney and consider getting one that will be compliant in your State and in Florida.

3. Make sure your Powers of Attorney do NOT contain "springing powers" as these are now illegal in Florida.

There are several articles below that provide you with information about how you can protect yourself and family with a financial and health care Power of Attorney. I encourage you to review these articles if you don't already have a Power of Attorney.

These steps can be important if you will be traveling to Florida or spending any time there at all. If you have questions about how this may affect your or a family member, please give me a call and we can discuss further.

I hope you enjoy our articles and encourage to join our conversation with questions or comments. As always, thank you for your interest.

Bernie Greenberg

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Avoiding Fraud and Scams

How to Avoid Fraud and Scams

Hard times seem to draw out even more scams and scam artists than normal. Scammers prey on people during hard times and when our hearts are open after disasters and calamities. There are steps you can take that will help protect you and your family.

The Attorneys General in most States have websites dedicated to helping you avoid fraud and scam artists. I will not repeat those steps here, but I do urge you to use the websites available to you in your State to get information, report fraud and learn tips that will protect yourself and family.

What I want to discuss in this article is a particularly insidious scam that is prevalent now and targeting people during these hard times. That is job scams. There are different versions of the job scam, but they are all pretty much alike. In a job scam, part time work is offered to make calls, write letters or do some kind of "research". There may be incentives offered based on calls made, or other results obtained.

The people who pursue these types of 'jobs" are looking to supplement their families' income and do nice things for their families or themselves. Here's the scam part: after work is done, the scam artist comes up with some excuse not to honor their promise to pay for the part time work. Often they will turn it back on the unsuspecting person by complaining that the results don't merit compensation, or some other nonsense.

Wrong? Yes. Illegal? Probably. A scam? Most certainly. Avoidable? Most times not because many of these scams appear in the form of "affinity fraud". Affinity fraud involves a scam perpetrated by someone you know and usually from a setting that you trust, such as church or an organization you may participate in.

To protect yourself from a job scam, consider these steps:

1. Check everything out in detail.
2. Get all arrangements for your compensation and payment of same in writing.
3. Contact your local DA's office and your State's Attorney General Office to determine if the situation is legitimate.
4. Consider part time work from a trusted company or employer. Working for friends can be risky.
5. Contact your local BBB office to check out the situation.

These steps are a good starting point to help protect yourself and your family. Let me know your thoughts on scams and financial fraud and please join our conversation. As always, thank you for your interest.

Bernie Greenberg