Yulee, Fla. – The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office would like to pass along the top ten scams that seniors need to be aware of. “As sad as it is, there are scam artists out there looking to take advantage of people, and seniors are frequently their targets. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help protect your loved ones from senior scams” said Sheriff Bill Leeper.
Top 10 Senior Scams
10. Home Improvement Scams
Be suspicious of contractors who seek you out. Do not pay large sums of money in
advance and never make a final payment until all work is completed to your satisfaction.
9. Internet Fraud
Do not provide your credit card number unless the site is secure and reputable. Look for indicators that the site is secure, e.g., a “lock” icon on the browser’s status bar, or a URL that begins with “https:” (the “s” stands for “secure).
8. Email Scams – Phishing
Be extremely skeptical of emails received from someone you don’t know. Never respond to any request for personal information that comes to you via email.
7. Computer Sales Scams
Majority were customers of Virginia-based company called Financing Alternatives. Consumers were led to believe that the computers be shipped after three months of payments and that they would have to continue making payments for nine months after the computer was shipped. Consumers often did not receive the computers within the time period promised by Financing Alternatives, and some consumers did not receive the computers after making all such payments.
6. Sweepstakes Fraud
Do not pay to collect sweepstakes winnings. Phone numbers can deceive. New technology can make incoming calls look as if they are coming from Washington, DC, or your own community.
5. Foreign Lottery Scams
If you play a foreign lottery — through the mail or over the telephone — you’re violating federal law. There are no secret systems for winning foreign lotteries.
4. Telemarketing Scams
Don’t be pressured to make an immediate decision. Don’t give your credit card, checking account or Social Security number to unknown callers.
3. Fraudulent Phone Calls
Take control of the calls you receive. If you want to reduce the number of telemarketing calls you receive, place your telephone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. To register online, visit www.donotcall.gov. To register by phone, call 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236) from the phone number you wish to register.
2. Debt Collection Scams
Call stating you owe money. Caller using threats and intimidation so consumer pays. Impossible to determine whether the person calling is employed by a debt collection firm and looking for more commission or a scam artist posing as a debt collector.
1. Identity Theft
Reduce the number of credit and debit cards you carry in your wallet. Take social security number off of checks and other documents if possible. Mail bills at post office or in blue postal boxes – DO NOT place bills in your own personal mailbox. Shred, Shred, Shred, Shred, Shred.
The more information you have available, the better you can keep from being a victim of these scam artist.