elder fraudTips to Avoid Elder Fraud

Elder fraud and other scams targeting senior citizens are on the rise, again.  Authorities around the country report that they are receiving a number of different scams, some using the recent terror attacks in Boston to lure money from seniors and older adults.

In addition to using recent events and fundraising, the most commons types of scams are still being seen.  Using the phone, e-mail, and even snail mail, these scam artists hope to receive payment and donations for charity or services needed that are not yet rendered.

A common annual con involves taking cash up front for home improvements such as roofs, windows and porches and disappearing

A phone call favorite is to entice a credit card payment for “taxes” on a promised “huge sweepstakes check” in the mail from Canada.

Often times, these scans aren’t reported as the victim feels embarrassed by the con.

The following are tips to avoid elder fraud:

  • Be wary of sales people or others who are too friendly. Turn down their offers to take you to a medical appointment or grocery shopping.
  • Make checks out to companies instead of individuals who might cash it for themselves.
  • Don’t sign anything unless you have read what you are agreeing to. Refuse to sign blank pieces of paper that fraudsters can then use to say you have agreed to something you haven’t.
  • Take your time in reading a financial proposal. End a conversation if an agent or salesperson tries to rush you into a financial matter that you don’t understand.
  • Investigate and verify any proposals. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be wary of sales people or others who are too friendly. Turn down their offers to take you to a medical appointment or grocery shopping.

Most importantly, if you or a loved one is a victim of elder fraud or other types of abuse, report them immediately to the local authorities.  If reported and brought to justice, victims can often reclaim stolen funds while also preventing future cons.  Learn more about preventing elder fraud and senior scams here.

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