A friend of mine who looks after her mother’s financial accounts let me know about a new way to detect certain scams, and I would like to pass it on to you.

My friend’s mother, who is in her 70s, got a letter in the mail printed on official-looking letterhead of a familiar bank, which informed her that a long-lost account had been discovered. It had money that she could reclaim if she telephoned before a certain date.

Avoid financial scamsThe woman had done business with that bank and wasn’t alarmed, but something made her call her daughter to talk it over. My friend did a Google search on the phone number and the results showed it was linked to several scams that had led to the theft of at least tens of thousands of dollars. More