Presentation on theme: "A Public Service of the Better Business Bureau Education Foundation Educating Older Adults about Fraudulent Activity in the Marketplace Protecting Older."— Presentation transcript:
A Public Service of the Better Business Bureau Education Foundation Educating Older Adults about Fraudulent Activity in the Marketplace Protecting Older Adults from Fraud
Fastest growing segment of the population to be victimized by: –Identity fraud –Internet schemes Vulnerable to out of control credit card debt. –Looking for money to pay debts. –Confused and upset over increased debt.
Scams: Old Tricks – New Formats Seniors continue to be victimized by age-old scams: –Foreign/Sweepstakes lotteries –Home repair con artists –Financial and investment fraud
Consequences Nest eggs are wiped out. Loss of confidence and self-esteem. Homes are lost. Victims are reluctant to report the crime.
Why Target Seniors? Likely to be at home. Tend to be more trusting. Lonely and susceptible to a friendly pitch. Unable to do work themselves. Difficulty making ends meet on a fixed income. Own assets sought by predatory lenders.
Common Scams against Seniors Foreign lotteries Home Repair or Improvement Scams Telemarketing schemes Phishing Phony Charities Investment scams Medicare fraud
How to Protect Seniors Register with the National Do-Not-Call registry at 888-382-1222 or www.donotcall.gov. Don’t do business with someone who just shows up at the door. Don’t give personal or financial information to anyone who calls on the phone. Don’t respond to unsolicited email/Internet messages.
How to Protect Seniors Don’t yield to high-pressure or emotional sales tactics. Read contracts thoroughly. Never pay money to win a prize or enter a sweepstakes. Never pay the entire cost of a repair job upfront. Keep records and review bank or credit card statements.
How to Protect Seniors Direct deposit Social Security or pension benefit checks. Don’t leave outgoing bill payments in an unsecured mailbox. Shred documents Verify with companies like the Better Business Bureau.
Watch out for your Family and Friends Check on seniors often. Ask about their activities. Looking for unusual withdrawals or charges in accounts. Other signs of trouble include: –excessive knickknacks or prizes –couriers rather than the Postal Service –frequent calls from a “nice” man or lady.
Resources Better Business Bureau –www.bbb.org for tips and alertswww.bbb.org For Identity Theft –The Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.govwww.ftc.gov For Investment/Financial Fraud –Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.govwww.sec.gov –Texas State Securities Board at www.ssb.state.tx.us
Resources For Consumer Financial Protection –Consumer Financial Protection Bureau www.consumerfinance.gov For Medicare Fraud –Texas Senior Medicare Patrol at www.texassmp.orgwww.texassmp.org –Stop Medicare Fraud at www.stopmedicarefraud.govwww.stopmedicarefraud.gov For Sweepstakes Fraud –U. S. Postal Inspector www.postalinspectors.uspis.govwww.postalinspectors.uspis.gov