My co worker, Karen Adcock, Auburn Hills Senior Center Director, gave me a suggestion today for a blog post. She is a dedicated public servant who focuses her efforts on our senior citizens. Because of her desire to help our senior population she sent me a couple of recent media articles about recent scams perpetrated on seniors:
Together Karen and I want to warn seniors to beware of people who are targeting them.
Beware of callers who contact you with “free” offers in exchange for personal information like bank or credit card numbers or Social Security Numbers. Any unsolicited caller who asks for personal information is suspicious. NEVER give that type of information on the phone, by email or any other method unless YOU have contacted them to conduct business.
The National Crime Prevention Council offers this advice:
- Offers too good to be true usually are. Ask to receive the “unbelievable deal” or the “amazing prize offer” in writing so you can read it carefully before making a commitment.
- Never give out your personal information over the phone or Internet unless you have initiated the contact. Legitimate business callers will never ask you for this information over the phone.
- If a caller asks you to pay for an offer in advance or asks for your credit card number or Social Security number, tell the person you don’t give out personal information over the telephone.
- Remember that legitimate telemarketers won’t be turned off if you use these techniques. They will appreciate dealing with an educated consumer. It’s not rude – it’s shrewd!
Lastly, I’m still hearing about the callers who target seniors over the phone saying that they are their “favorite” grandchild who is in trouble and needs money. They don’t want the senior to contact their parents, just send a couple of thousand dollars in a hurry. These callers are most frequently out of the country so are very difficult to prosecute. Criminals will randomly call people until they find someone who “bites” on their story–they don’t know anything about you or your family. If you show interest in what they are saying these con people start spinning their lies. Protect yourself and contact the parents of your grandchild before sending any money anywhere.