Expert warns people to be extra vigilant as scams increase during pandemic

WESTMONT, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — During these times, we all have to be extra vigilant to protect ourselves, and not just from the coronavirus. There are people out there aiming to scam you in one way or another, and an expert in Camden County offers some timely advice.

Accountant Howard Silverstone runs Forensic Resolutions in Westmont, and suggests times like these can prompt all kinds of fraud from fake charities and insurance scams to identity theft and Ponzi schemes.

“People are being bombarded literally from everywhere.” Silverstone told KYW Newsradio, “and as fraud investigators, you know, we’ve never seen anything like this before.”

That’s because of the worldwide scale of this pandemic. 

Seniors can be particularly vulnerable. So what do you do?

Take the usual common sense precautions and turn them up a notch or two. Just hang up on robocalls, check out solicitors thoroughly, don’t click on email links or attachments even if they look familiar, because they may be fake, and never give out personal information to someone you don’t know.

Want some ways to check out a charity? Silverstone suggests you try Guidestar.org, a particularly reliable verification site, although there are other options.

“There’s a lot of resources out there such as the Federal Trade Commission which has a whole section on how to avoid these scams,” he added. “The AARP for older people. AARP Fraudwatch is a great resource.”

You can also visit his company’s website www.forensicresolutions.com for additional information.

If you even suspect you might be a victim, contact law enforcement immediately.