Protecting Yourself (And Elderly Family Members) From Fraud

We generally delve pretty exclusively in cybersecurity issues here, but I received an email from Marie Villeza of Elder Impact and thought the information was worth posting. Members of my own family have fallen for some of these scams, one lost $16,000 to scammers claiming to be the police, who accepted this payment in lieu of charging a “grandchild” with a crime.  Below is the body of Marie’s email.

From: Marie Villeza <>

Subject: Resource Guides to Help Catch Scammers Before They Trap You

Message Body:

Hi there, 

I’m reaching out because I think you share my indignation about all of the fraudulent activity that’s out there, and I’m hoping you’ll help me on my mission to fight it.

I’ve been moved to action after a family member was taken advantage of by a scammer in Las Vegas, who banked on her love and dedication to her family and convinced her to wire him thousands of dollars before vanishing without a trace.  I can’t help but think that if we had taken steps to alert her to such scams – how to recognize them, how to be effectively cautious with her information, etc – this could have been prevented.

I’ve assembled a “Fraud Prevention Checklist” on my ElderImpact site (see below), which I think is a good starting point for a checklist as well as for reading further on the most common scams.  These are useful action items for everyone!  I’d love any input or recommendations from you on how to make it better.

 Additionally, I found some further resources that I thought might be helpful, and that I’d like to invite you to share with your audience.

Thanks, and have a great day!



Marie Villeza | 340 S Lemon Ave #5780 | Walnut, CA | 91789


About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at

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