This afternoon, during our regular root beer float party, an investigator with the Livingston Police Department spoke to us about the ways that criminals take advantage of people, particularly senior adults, and how we can protect ourselves.
One bit of advice that stands out to me is that we should always use the fuel pumps that are directly in front of the station’s windows, where they can be seen from inside the station. This is because crooks are attaching credit and debit card skimmers to pumps that are closest to the street, where they are more easily hidden during the installation process. He brought some samples of skimmers to show us. He mentioned that Walmart is very diligent about protecting their Murphy Oil cards, so I plan to get one of those.
Another thing that the officer advised us to do is to enable alerts on our credit/debit cards so we can receive a text message and/or email every time our card is used. I went online and did that for my VISA card. However, I was unable to do so for my MasterCard account at Bank of America. I wasn’t even able to update my address because that is the only account I have with them! That makes no sense to me.
The officer further advised us to never answer phone calls from numbers that we do not recognize. (I’ve already been following this advice for a long time.) He said that one prevalent phone scam is a caller pretending to be from the police department, the IRS, etc., and stating that you will be arrested if you don’t pay several hundred dollars (in cash, of course) in “fees”. Such fees are NOT legitimate.