AVOID this widespread senior scam!

Posted on March 19, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

There’s a major scam going on right now, targeting the senior population. Here’s how it works (excerpt from Take Charge California; http://www.takechargeca.ca.gov):

A scammer claims to be a grandchild in trouble and gets you to send money.

Here is how this scam works
A scammer contacts an elderly person and claims to be a grandchild who needs cash because of a recent automobile accident, hospitalization, arrest, or other unfortunate event. The scammer often states that they are allowed only that one phone call. The elderly person is asked to wire, overnight mail or courier money immediately and to keep the call a secret from other family members to reduce embarrassment. The scammer pockets the money and disappears.

WHAT TO DO:

Verify the caller’s identity by asking personal questions that a stranger could not answer. (i.e. “What was Grandma’s nick-name for you? What was your pets name?”)

Resist the pressure to act immediately.

Call someone you know and trust to help verify the story.

If you can’t verify the story, call your local police on the non-emergency line to help you sort things out.

Avoid sending money by immediate overnight service. The scammer will have your money before realize that you have been cheated.

Avoid giving your credit card or bank information to anyone you don’t know personally.

**This is widespread, occurring all over the nation – targeting our seniors. If you suspect a scam, please call 1-877-FTC.HELP. Another great resource for information on staying a safe consumer, is the Department of Consumer Affairs. You can reach them at 1.800.952.5210 or at http://www.dca.ca.gov.

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