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Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
Scams 0710
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Scams 0710


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  • 1. Preventing Senior Scams Welcome MoneyWi$e is a joint financial education project of Consumer Action and Capital One
  • 2. Overview of topics
    • Recognizing scams
    • Protecting yourself from fraud
    • Steps to take if you become a victim
    • Resources and referrals
  • 3. Elder fraud
    • Seniors aged 60 and older account for about 15 percent of the population in the United States
    • According to some estimates, seniors comprise 30 percent of fraud victims
  • 4. Phishing
    • A term used for emails that claim to be from your bank, a reputable business or a government agency
    • Criminals ask for personal information such as Social Security numbers or account numbers to steal funds and/or steal identities
  • 5. Nigerian letters
    • e-mails or letters that ask recipients to provide their bank account number to help them share in a big pot of money
    • If you respond to these letters you will lose your money
  • 6. Fake cashier’s checks
      • Crooks scan want ads looking for victims
      • Answer ads and offer to pay by “cashier’s check” for more than the sales price
      • Ask you to wire the remainder of the money back to them or to give the extra money and the merchandise to a “shipper”
      • Check turns out to be a fake and you lose the merchandise and the money
  • 7. Sweepstakes and lotteries
    • You’re told that you’ve won a sweepstakes or the Canadian lottery
    • You’re asked to pay for processing, taxes or delivery, or provide a bank account number to verify your identity
    • No one ever receives a penny except for the thieves
  • 8. Travel scams
    • Before buying travel packages
      • Get the offer in writing
      • Check to see if the company is legitimate:
        • the Better Business Bureau
        • state attorney general’s office
        • your local consumer protection agency
        • Public Charter office of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (DOT) at 202-366-2396
      • Travel freebies often involve high-pressure sales.
      • Use a credit card to purchase travel.
  • 9. Work-at-home scams
    • Do not respond—these offers are scams
    • If you respond, you’ll be asked to pay for supplies upfront
    • Might ask you for your credit card, bank account or Social Security numbers for fraudulent uses
  • 10. Charities
    • ‘ Sound-alike’ names can be tricky
    • Nonprofit and charitable groups must file IRS Form 990
      • Check 990s at GuideStar
    • Check charity’s legitimacy at American Institute of Philanthropy:
      • : 773-529-2300
    • Donate directly to charity.
  • 11. Telemarketing Sales Rule
    • No calls between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.
    • Must tell you company calling from and whether sale or charitable solicitation.
    • No purchase needed to enter or win promotions, prizes or contests.
    • Can’t ask for advance payment for credit services.
    • No abusive or obscene language, threats or intimidation.
    • Can’t misrepresent or exaggerate
    • Written or recorded permission required for checking account withdrawal.
    • Do Not Call Registry: 888-382-1222 or
  • 12. Sucker lists
      • If you often respond to sweepstakes or contests, your name might be added to lists sold to con artists
      • A sucker list contains the names of people who have been, or are good candidates to be, victims of fraud
      • People on the lists may hear from crooks who claim they can help recover, for a fee, money lost to a con artist
  • 13. ID theft and account fraud
    • Using your personal information identity thieves apply for credit or government benefits, or commit account fraud.
      • Your name
      • Your birth date
      • Mother’s maiden name
      • Your Social Security number
      • Driver’s license number
      • Your bank account or credit card numbers
      • Credit report information
  • 14. Prevent ID theft
    • Check bills, bank and credit card statements for unauthorized activity.
    • Track statements, new cards or check orders in mail.
    • Get your credit report. Look for:
      • Accounts you don’t recognize
      • Incorrect information about you
    • Order free reports
      • 877-322-8228
  • 15. Fraud Alerts & Credit Freeze
    • Add a fraud alert to your report
      • Initial alert—90 days
      • Extended alert—7 years
      • Additional free credit reports
      • Instant credit won’t work
    • Freeze your credit
      • Prevents new credit without your permission
        • Equifax: 888-298-0045
        • Experian: 888-397-3742
        • TransUnion: 1-888-909-8872
      • States may allow fee to freeze and to temporarily lift the freeze
  • 16. ID theft and account fraud clean up.
    • Document the crime:
      • File a police report, get case no. & copy.
      • Contact creditors about fraudulent accounts.
      • Contact fraud departments of three credit bureaus.
      • Complete a free FTC ID Theft Affidavit: ; 877-438-4338.
      • Contact appropriate state and federal law enforcement agencies.
  • 17. Checking investments
      • Check with the SEC before investing: 800-732-0330
      • Has the offering been cleared for sale in your state? Call your state securities department.
      • Ask your state to check disciplinary actions against brokers with the Central Registration Depository (CRD).
      • The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) may provide a disciplinary history on a broker or firm. FINRA BrokerCheck: 800-289-9999 or
  • 18. Warning signs of fraud
    • Be suspicious if you hear
      • You’ve won a prize or free gift
      • You’ve been selected to receive a special offer
      • You must act immediately or lose out
      • You must pay for shipping your prize or free gift
      • Give us your credit card number and expiration date to verify that you are a credit cardholder
  • 19. More warning signs of fraud
      • You’re asked for personal information
      • You’re one of only a chosen few to receive this offer
      • A courier will come to your home to get your payment
      • You’re asked to wire money to somebody you don’t know
  • 20. Protect your assets
    • Never
      • reveal your financial information to someone who calls you on the phone
      • allow strangers to come into your home
      • believe that a stranger will use your money for a good purpose
      • assign power of attorney to people you don’t know very well
      • sign contracts that have any blank lines in them
  • 21. Caretaker crimes
    • Be alert for caregivers
      • who try to isolate you from your friends and family
      • who ask about your will and investments
      • who ask to be given power of attorney
      • who try to dominate or influence you
    • Tell family members or call adult protective services
  • 22. If you become a victim...
    • Call the police
      • You may need a police report to help you prove that you were a victim
    • Contact your state and local law enforcement agencies such as your district attorney’s office or the state attorney general
  • 23. Resources
    • CA Attorney General: 800-952-5225,
    • Federal Trade Commission: 877-382-4357,
    • CA Department of Corporations: 866-ASK-CORP,
    • Securities and Exchange Commission, 800-SEC-0330,
    • Better Business Bureau:
  • 24. Resources for seniors
    • Directory of State Elder Abuse Prevention Resources
      • The National Center on Elder Abuse
        • Click on “Find State Resources”
      • Call 800-677-1116
    • U.S. Administration on Aging
      • The federal agency that advocates for older persons:
  • 25. Consumer Action
    • Consumer Action provides non-legal advice and referrals on consumer problems
      • Web site:
      • Hotline: 415-777-9635 or 213-624-8327
      • TTY: 415-777-9456
      • E-mail: