Scam Alert Targeting the Elderly

Published by The Bee News

March 15, 2022

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The Lake Havasu City Police Department wants to remind community members about fraudulent scams that are frequently occurring in Lake Havasu City using various methods to target elderly people.

Each year a large number of elderly Lake Havasu City residents fall victim to some type of financial fraud or confidence scheme. Some of the schemes include romance, lottery, and sweepstakes scams. Criminals will gain their targets’ trust and often communicate with them directly by computer, phone, and mail or indirectly through the TV and radio. Once successful, scammers regularly keep the scheme going because of the significant financial gains. Seniors are targeted because they tend to be trusting, polite, have financial savings, own a home, and have good credit.

Precautions to take to avoid being victimized by other scams:

  • Resist the pressure to act quickly.
  • Never wire money based on a request made over the phone or e-mail, especially overseas. Wiring money is like giving cash—once you send it, you can’t get it back.
  • When in doubt, don’t give personal information out. Regardless of what they say, no legitimate organization, including Medicare or the IRS, will call to ask for your bank account number or Social Security number.
  • Keep your financial information to yourself. Please do not give out a credit card, checking, or savings account information to anyone who calls you, as it is not difficult for someone with this data to draft money from your account.
  • Don’t rely on caller ID. Some seniors report that their caller ID system indicated a local number when they received one of these scam calls. Remember, criminals often scramble the number appearing on your caller ID with “spoofing” technology that tricks your caller ID system into displaying a fake number.
  • Report suspicious activity. Check out an unknown company before you sign up, especially if they do business over the phone. If a caller seems suspicious, hang up and report the matter to the Attorney General’s Office or your local police department.
  • Ask the sales agent to send you information about their product or services. Legitimate companies are often happy to mail you a pamphlet or brochure about what they sell.
  • Place your name on the Do Not Call List – you can do this by visiting the National Do Not Call Registry.
  • Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

The police department encourages the community to remain vigilant, as many fraudulent calls are initially very difficult to differentiate from real incidents. Please report any type of fraudulent call, and be aware that scammers are constantly devising new schemes in an attempt to get your money. Additional consumer tips of things you can do to avoid becoming a victim and find out about current scams can be found at the Federal Trade Commission’s website www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts or https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes/elder-fraud

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