[Editor's Note: I just read an article about Amazon scams and have attached the link at the bottom, plus some additional information to help you detect scam emails.]

They come in all forms – phone calls, emails, text messages, social media.

If someone calls you telling you they are your grandchild or a long-lost uncle, for instance, make sure it is your grandchild or uncle before agreeing to send any money to anybody.

Hang up and call your grandchild or someone who knows if you have a long-lost uncle. If the grandchild answers, ask them if they are in trouble. Most likely they are not. If you call your cousin and he tells you there is no long-lost uncle, then you have saved a pile of money.

If you see someone elderly trying to buy a money order to send to some strange-sounding story like a man stuck on a ship somewhere, I would suggest you call law enforcement and/or contact store management to perhaps intervene and save that older person a hunk of his or her savings.

Unfortunately, older people are targeted by scammers, because sometimes they can't remember names or whether they have grandchildren, for instance.

My older mother, before she died, began to have early dementia that she hid from me cleverly whenever I visited. It turns out she was being scammed too often. I took over her finances and managed to get a couple of people, local residents of where she lived, charged with fraud.

Most of the money, of course, was lost, but at least someone got into legal trouble because of their fraudulent activities. And Mom didn't have access to funding to pay them anything, because by this time she was living in assisted living, where she was taken care of. She had previously written checks, and she still had had enough sense to sign the checks differently from the way she normally signed checks, so when I pointed it out to the bank, they said they should have recognized the difference, and some money was returned to her account.

Email scams are often the hardest to combat. Here's a TIP to a recipient who receives something they may NOT even feel is suspicious. ALWAYS check the email address.

If, for instance, the scam states that your bank account has problems and you need to click on this link to fix it, look at the email address. If it does not have the name of your bank as part of the address, it is a scam. Even if you can't see the email address, call your bank on the phone, and ask about the email you received. Almost always, it is a scam, and you have saved your hard-earned dollars.

I can't tell you how many text messages I receive in a day, some of which raise questions to me, so I simply delete them. That gets rid of them.

On my cell phone, I have an app that blocks any caller that is not in my contact list. As editor and reporter for The Grant County Beat, I often get calls from people not in my contact list. If you call, and I don't answer, leave a voicemail. Then if you are legitimate, I will hear from you through the message and call you back if warranted. If you or someone else is not legitimate, you or the other caller won't hear back from me and the voicemail will be deleted.

This link provides information on Amazon scams, which I get not too infrequently.


If the email address does not have amazon.com in it, it IS a scam. I also have received ones that supposedly are from MY email address TO MY email address. That's obviously a scam. if you don't know how to confirm the email on your phone for instance, figure out how. On my particular email client on my particular phone, if I click the sender name, it tries to save the email to contacts. If it's an unknown name or address, I delete it. 

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