Seniors should be aware that phone fraud is a growing trend among scammers and new gimmicks are being tried every day. As a prevalent tool in our society, the telephone makes an easy and accessible tool for fraudulent telemarketers.
A list from information collected from the National Association of Triads, the Home Instead Senior Care® network and local FBI offices helps warn about different phone fraud tips and tricks to bilk seniors and other residents from their savings.
- Don’t give personal information over the phone. Fraudsters may say they represent your bank or other institution and imply that your credit card or account information has been jeopardized.
- Don’t trust that people are who they say they are. Some scammers pretend to be the police. Police will contact victims in person.
- Be wary of unexpected calls. Reputable callers will not ask for sensitive information over the phone.
- Beware of statements such as, “You MUST act ‘now’ or the offer won’t be valid.” “You must send money, give a credit car or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier.” Take your time when considering an offer, a valid offer will be there the next day.
- Don’t pay for a “prize”. If the callers says she is collecting payment for taxes, hang up.
- Obtain a telemarketer’s name, business name, telephone number, and business license number so that you may verify the information before you act. Con artists give out false information.
- Don’t buy over the phone from an unfamiliar company. Check out unknown companies with the Better Business Bureau, state attorney general, the National Fraud Information Center or other groups.
- Never respond to an offer you don’t understand.
- Don’t be a afraid to stop a caller if he is selling something you don’t want. Say, “I never buy anything over the phone”, or “I’m sorry and I’m hanging up”. Then hang up.
- If you have been a victim, be cautious of additional help to recover your losses if there is a fee paid in advance.
Do you have a special tip that can help seniors avoid becoming victims of fraud? Please share with our readers!