Elderly fraud continues to be a major obstacle for today’s senior citizens.
This is why it’s essential to do our best to spread awareness and provide tips of how to avoid these scams in the future.
One of our partners, Chad Smith, CFP®, recently spoke, for the second time, to seniors at the Cary Senior Center.
He described specific techniques and characteristics of scammers, and gave several examples of actual cases, such as fake checks & “sucker lists” that are being used by scammers to lure senior citizens in.
This issue is actually gaining more momentum in the media and in Congress of late.
We’ve provided some information below on recent progress in the efforts being taken to fight this predatory fraud. The Wall Street Journal recently shared a story that provides a real example of elderly fraud and tips of how best to avoid incidents in the future.
Tips for Avoiding Telemarketing Criminals
Some telemarketing pitches are blatantly fraudulent, and you should know the signs, which include:
- Asking you to pay for a prize you’ve won. It’s illegal for any company to ask you to pay or buy something to win a prize, or to claim that paying will increase your chances of winning.
- Asking for upfront fees. It’s illegal for telemarketers to ask for a fee upfront if they claim it’s likely they’ll get you a credit card, loan, or to “repair” your credit.
- Pressure to act immediately.
- Refusal to send written info. Legitimate agencies, charitable or otherwise, should not be reluctant to send you written information about their program or organization.
- Requests for personal financial information. Requests for your personal bank account numbers, or other private information, is a huge warning sign. Never give out your information to an unknown caller.
Ways to fight Senior Financial Abuse
- NC Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Office 1-877-5-NO-SCAM
- Fraud Fighter Line 1-800-646-2283
- NC Task Force Chair 919-716-6000
- Website that compiles recent scams: The NC Division of Aging and Adult Services Senior Consumer Fraud Task Force
Remember if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
“Seniors should be aware that the issue is not if, but when they will be targeted by sophisticated scam artists. Sharing information about how best to prevent these communications and where to report it when they occur, empowers seniors with the tools to fight back.” Chad Smith, CFP®
Photo Credit: Kevin Dooley