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Scams That Target Seniors. PLEASE share with Seniors you know...

This is from the Area Agency on Aging:
1 out of 5 older Americans aged 65 or older self-report that they have been taken advantage of financially in terms of an inappropriate investment, unreasonably high fees for financial services, or outright fraud accord- ing to a 2010 survey conducted for Investor Protection Trust. Scams, frauds and their perpetrators are be- coming more creative and sophisticated in their attempts to swindle seniors out of their savings. Seniors and advocates must be aware of common scams and what they can do if they have been victimized. Staying informed, staying skeptical of “too good to be true” offers and reporting suspected fraud to authorities are the best ways to avoid being victimized. Scammers often know that their crimes will not be reported because the senior may be seen as unable to handle their own affairs. However, for those who have been scammed, sharing your story with family and friends can help raise awareness of this growing issue and prevent others from falling victim to fraud. The following is a list of the top 5 common scams targeting seniors reported by the Better Business Bureau and advice for avoiding each type of scam. It is important to note that this document is not a complete list of scams as new ones pop up daily.  Sweepstakes/Lottery Scams: Typically, the victim receives a letter in the mail stating they have won a lottery or sweepstakes; it might even claim to be from Publisher’s Clearing House or Reader’s Digest. The letter instructs the victim to deposit an enclosed check and then wire a portion back to the company to cov- er taxes or administration fees. While the funds will initially show up in the bank account, the money will be removed when the bank determines the check is fake. The victim is out whatever they wired back to the scammers—often amounting to thousands of dollars.  Medicare Scams: Navigating the Medicare system isn’t easy and some scammers will look for any opportunity to take advantage of the confusion. Commonly, a scammer will claim to be with Medicare and ask for personal information such as Medicare, Medicaid, social security, credit card or bank account numbers. The victim might be given any number of excuses to provide this information including that an error needs to be fixed, that he or she is part of a survey or eligible to receive free products or can sign up for a new prescription drug plan.  Bereavement Scams: Scammers will often try to take advantage of the increased vulnerability of senior citizens who have recently lost a loved one, such as a spouse. In one recent example, a mother and daughter team in Ohio would find targets by scouring the obituaries. They would then call the widow or widower and claim that their spouse had outstanding debts that needed to be paid immediately. Victims would then provide a blank check or credit card. 3  Deceptive Professionals: While many scams targeting senior citizens might not have a face, some scammers will be invited in the front door including legitimate technicians, contractors, chimney sweeps, air duct cleaners and other services. These professionals will lie about the extent of the problem or claim safety hazards and then inflate repair prices for unsuspecting senior customers.  Investment and Work at Home Opportunities: Promises of easy money often target older adults because they may be looking to supplement their income. The pitch might come in the form of an investment opportunity that promises big returns, or as a way to make money at home for an upfront cost. Regardless of the specifics, the victim is offered what sounds like a great opportunity but the extra income never materializes. The Better Business Bureau offers the following advice to avoid scams:
  •   Never wire money to someone you don’t know. You should never have to send money to receive any winnings from a lottery or sweepstakes.
  •   Medicare will never call to ask for sensitive personal financial information. If you suspect fraud, con- tact your local police or the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General at 1-800-HHS- TIPS.
  •   If you are uncertain about owing a debt when collectors call, ask for written confirmation.
  •   Find professionals you can trust by searching for them on www.bbb.org/search/ or call the Better Business Bureau at 1-703-276-0100.
  •   Beware of investment or money-making offers that seem too good to be true or use high pressure sales tactics to get you to sign up immediately. If you suspect you have been scammed: If you suspect you are being scammed or if you detect a fraud against seniors you should report any deceptive services to your local law enforcement agency and state Attorney General Bill Schuette’s Office. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette
    Phone: 1-877-765-8388 – Consumer Protection Division Website: http://www.michigan.gov/ag ACCESS Newsletter Interview Opportunity 

2 Comments to Scams That Target Seniors. PLEASE share with Seniors you know...:

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profil on Monday, December 08, 2014 5:13 AM
However, numerous gadgets that any mom or dad must actually have gates and additionally use the most effective, still tailored to work for you.
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Free Equity Tips on Mobile on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 6:31 AM
Thank you for posting such a great and valuable information regarding Scams That Target Seniors. PLEASE share with Seniors you know...
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