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Defend Yourself Against Fraud

As part of our ongoing effort to keep you informed about criminal threats to your finances, LACERA regularly publishes warnings about financial scams, identity theft, and other schemes that could hurt your pocketbook. Be sure to check this section regularly for the latest alerts, so that you can spot and defend yourself against those who seek to steal your hard-earned money or take advantage of your access to credit.

The slogan "Defend yorself against fraud" over an image of a dollar bill.

Latest Alerts from the D.A.’S Office

Don’t get scammed! Twice a month, the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office releases a public service announcement (PSA) called the Friday Fraud Alert to warn the community about current financial scams (some perennial, some seasonal or tied to current events).

The PSAs include videos with District Attorney staff, and many focus on scams targeted specifically toward older adults. According to the D.A., one in five seniors has been the victim of financial fraud. The Elder Abuse section of the D.A.’s website includes a Financial Fraud page that lists the warning signs of many common scams in order to help seniors recognize cons and avoid becoming victims.

See some of the latest scams below. For the full list of Fraud Alerts, visit You can also follow @LADAOffice on Twitter and Instagram for up-to-date news and use #FraudFriday.

Fraud Alert: 2-16-21 Scammers Offer Early Stimulus Payments to Steal Your Money

If someone offers to send you federal stimulus money by check or direct deposit, ignore it. It’s a scam!

In the Stimulus Check Scam, con artists, possibly impersonating a popular retailer, target their victims with the promise of sending a quick stimulus check disbursement.

Crooks ask for an upfront payment to receive the aid or for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card details to steal your personal information.

More details about how the scam works and how to avoid it in this 12-30-20 article from the D.A.’s office.

Fraud Alert 7-23-20: Prescription Drug Scam

Online scams are everywhere. In the prescription drug scam, internet retailers tout benefits or cure for ailments that haven’t been scientifically supported or have been debunked by the medical industry. These businesses also promise better prices.

In some instances, the thieves take the money and never deliver a product. More dangerously, they may deliver counterfeit "drugs" that pose serious and, possibly, fatal health risks.

More details about how the scam works and how to avoid it are detailed in this 6-26-20 article from the D.A.’s Office.

Fraud Alert 1-10-20: Scammers Try to Pass Off Puppies as Purebreds

People in the market for a recognized dog breed should be careful they don’t get a mutt in purebred clothing.

In the Purebred Puppy Scam, victims may find themselves spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on supposedly purebred pooches that aren’t what the sellers claim.

Last year, a new state law went into effect requiring pet shops to sell only dogs, cats and rabbits from animal shelters or rescue organizations making it more difficult for scammers to pull a fast one.

More details about how the scam works and tips to avoid fraud are detailed in this 1-10-20 article from the D.A.’s Office.

Retirees: Beware of Phone Calls from Scammers

Some pension systems in California have reported that scammers have been making phone calls to their members saying they owe money to the fund. Recently, LACERA received one report of a LACERA member being targeted in this manner. These scammers employ fear tactics, telling retirees they must send money through prepaid credit cards in order to receive their pension. LACERA would like you to be aware just in case you receive a similar call.

Should this happen to you, rest assured: Even if a caller claims to be from LACERA and the caller ID appears authentic, you can be confident it’s fraudulent because LACERA will never call to ask you for money. In the case of a legitimate overpayment (or underpayment), we will mail you a letter with details pertaining to your specific situation. Please call us at 800-786-6464 if you receive any suspicious communication.