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Free guide to prevent 10 worst frauds against U.S. senior citizens
U.S. Senate Aging Committee publishes comprehensive anti-fraud resource for seniors
Feb. 22, 2016 – The top ten frauds against senior citizens in the United States have been identified by the U.S. Senate Aging Committee, which has published a guide to inform and help protect seniors from some of the most pervasive and malicious scams and frauds.
The guide, “Fighting Fraud: U.S. Senate Aging Committee Identifies Top 10 Scams Targeting Our Nation’s Seniors,” is a comprehensive anti-fraud resource for seniors, according to the announcement by Senators Susan Collins and Ranking Member Claire McCaskill.
“Putting a stop to these disturbing scams targeting our nation’s seniors is among my highest priorities as Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee,” said Sen. Collins.
“I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that seniors and their families become aware of their techniques and take action to protect themselves and their loved-ones from these heartless criminals. This resource guide will help prevent seniors from becoming victims to these ruthless scams.”
Sen. McCaskill added, “Scammers are finding new and innovative ways to prey on this country’s seniors, but with the right mix of law enforcement action, resources, and awareness, we can effectively combat these criminals.
“This detailed guide for seniors and their families can help folks recognize the early warning signs of a scam before money is lost and life savings are squandered, as well as provide critical tools to report and help catch these scammers.”
The Aging Committee maintains a Fraud Hotline (1-855-303-9470) that is staffed by experienced fraud investigators who help link victims with the relevant authorities. The Committee has distilled the large volume of data collected through the Hotline into a critical guide that will help seniors avoid becoming victim to these scams and provide them with important tools to help them if they are targeted.
The Fighting Fraud resource guide documents all of the calls the Fraud Hotline received in 2015 and categorizes the 10 most common scams. The guide describes each of the top 10 frauds in extensive detail, includes multiple case studies to provide tangible examples of these scams, and provides advice from consumer protection agencies on ways to identify con artists’ schemes.
“In all of these scams, criminals use countless dastardly tricks that are as malevolent as they are innovative,” according to the announcement.
“Scam artists often pray on seniors’ emotions to carry out their schemes. For instance, the crooks may inspire fear by impersonating a law enforcement official and threatening adverse actions if a senior refuses to send them money, or they may pretend to befriend a lonely senior online and convince the victim to send them hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Raising awareness of these scams is a critical piece of helping protect our seniors from these increasingly pervasive and cruel scams.”
The ten scams covered in the report include:
1. IRS Impersonation Scams
2. Sweepstakes Scams
3. Robocalls / Unwanted Phone Calls
4. Computer Tech Support Schemes
5. Identity Theft
6. Grandparent Scams
7. Elder Financial Abuse
8. Grant Scams
9. Romance Scams / Confidence Fraud
10. Home Improvement Scams