March 1, 2024

Stay Alert to Scams

I write an Investment Letter to all my clients with investments in the market. Many clients have only safe investments with me and avoid risk-type accounts. This monthly newsletter isn’t as technical or serious as the market and economy topics discussed in the Investment Letter. Last month, I covered the Sweetheart Scams trending during Valentine’s Day month, as reported by the Better Business Bureau, targeting retirees. Recently, I’ve encountered more scams that are legitimate threats and truly exploit people. Here’s one I nearly fell for myself.

The “For Sale” Scam

Typically found on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, this scam can catch anyone off guard. I was looking for collector cars and found a reasonably priced 1960s classic hot rod. The location was within an hour’s drive, making it easy to inspect before committing. However, the seller’s responses were suspicious. The car’s location differed from the ad, the cell phone had an unusual area code, and the seller had an accent when we spoke. After Googling the car’s year and model, I discovered other ads and comments labeling it a scam. It’s astonishing how easy it is to be deceived.

Consider this example: An unnamed 59-year-old man in Rowan County, North Carolina, found his dream car, a 1969 Plymouth Road Runner, on ListedBuy. He wired $23,400 to a bank in Florida, expecting the car within nine days. It never arrived.

Rather read the PDF version?


Another Common Scam: Utility Shut Off

This scam involves a caller demanding immediate payment to avoid shutting off your gas, electric, water, cable, etc. There are also scams where individuals pose as utility employees at your door, asking questions while their accomplice robs your home from the back.

More Scams to Watch For

Life is tough enough without dealing with these shysters. Here are some tips to protect yourself:

  1. Take It Slow: In questionable situations, don’t rush. Ask detailed questions and verify answers.
  2. Get Contact Information: Request phone numbers and search them on
  3. Involve Others: Discuss the situation with family or friends. Post on social media for additional insights.
  4. Research: Before making any transactions, especially large ones, thoroughly research the person or company you’re dealing with.

A friend of mine fell victim to a car scam. The car was distant, making personal inspection difficult but not impossible. After many conversations and a negotiated price, he wired the money and set a delivery date. The delivery driver called, claiming to be a couple of hours away. The car never arrived, and the money was gone. It’s easy to think he was gullible, but many have bought vehicles sight unseen and had positive experiences. Trust is essential, but caution is paramount in today’s world.

Stay vigilant and protect yourself from these scams. Share these tips with others to spread awareness. The more informed we are, the harder it is for scammers to succeed.

Stay Informed and Safe!

For more tips on avoiding scams and making secure investments, subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on social media.

Recipe of the Month

Oven Roasted Carrots

This recipe for savory roasted carrots is especially simple. Seasoned with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, the carrots’ natural, slightly sweet flavors to really shine through.

  • 2 pounds carrots washed, peeled and cut if large
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper plus additional to taste Chopped parsley for garnish, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper (for easy clean-up). Toss carrots with oil and seasoning. Pour onto prepared baking sheet. Arrange carrots in a single layer.
  2. Bake 18-20 minutes for baby or garden carrots, 25-30 minutes for larger store bought carrots. Ensure carrots are tender when pierced with a fork.
  3. Serve warm, garnished with parsley if desired.

Notes: Young fresh carrots or baby carrots can be left whole and will require less time. If using store-bought larger carrots (even if you cut them), they may need an extra 10-15 minutes. Larger carrots can be cut into1 1⁄2″ chunks and may need a few minutes extra.

For a sweeter glazed carrot, add 1 tablespoon honey or brown sugar before cooking.

View the Recipe

What's in Season

April offers a vibrant mix of fresh produce. Enjoy the hearty flavors of artichokes, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts, alongside the crispness of broccoli, cabbage, and celery. Root vegetables like beets, carrots, and potatoes are at their peak, providing robust flavors and nutrients. For a touch of tropical sweetness, indulge in avocados, bananas, mangoes, and pineapple. Greens are abundant, offering a variety of textures and tastes. Don’t miss out on the unique flavors of mushrooms and onions. As a bonus, kiwi adds a refreshing tang to your seasonal fare.

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