Watch CBS News

Experts urge extra vigilance to protect your money for Slam the Scam Day

Experts urge extra vigilance to protect your money for Slam the Scam Day
Experts urge extra vigilance to protect your money for Slam the Scam Day 02:05

Receiving a phone call with information saying it's your loved one on the other line can be harmless. However, it could be part of an elaborate plan from a scammer.

"They have the ability to fake someone's voice just from a sample as small as listening to their voicemail message. Or, if you have videos posted online, they can copy that voice," explained Robert Persichitte.

Persichitte teaches at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. He's also a certified fraud examiner and is helping get the word out about Slam the Scam Day.

"It's a day to raise awareness. Make it so people have what they need to understand and avoid scams," he said.


According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans lost more than $126 million to scammers last year targeting social security recipients. Those scams can come in the form of phone calls, texts and social media outreach. 

"Any way that people can communicate with each other, and it permeates every interaction, could be a scam," he said. 

So, there are a few red flags to be vigilant about to protect your hard-earned money.

"The first one is someone is pretending to be someone else. It's really easy these days to spoof your identity, so even caller ID, return addresses, things can be faked to look like legit organizations."

Persichitte adds, you'll also be faced by scammers by some type of problem. 

"You need to solve this issue or receive this prize. Usually, it's something bad. Like something bad is going to happen if you don't cooperate with us," he explain. "The third red flag is pressure, there's some sort of time pressure or immediate call to action." 

He says scammers rely on this because they don't want you thinking twice about the consequences. 

"They don't want you talking to other people about it. they don't want you talking to people that you trust because that can de-mystify it. They want you to be isolated and have pressure to act immediately," he said. 


With any potential instance, Persichitte says trust your gut if it feels fishy.

"If that money is gone, that could potentially ruin their lives and the lives of their family members," he said. 

Believe you've been scammed? Visit the Social Security Administration's website to remedy the situation. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.