Senior citizen scams

Senior citizen scams are common There are all sorts of criminals, both petty thieves and organized rings, who prey on senior citizens. Many elders have been cheated out of money or had precious mementos or valuables lost to persons using cleverly worked out ways to either get you to turn over your money or credit card information. Others, usually working in a team of at least 2 or 3 persons, take property that belongs to you ....without your realizing that the theft has been committed. It is not until later, sometimes days later, that you realize that you have been robbed.

The way to protect yourself is through vigilance and knowledge. This page offers you some general rules to follow. It also will list individual Senior scams as they appear. If you have been the subject of a scam or if you know of one used in your area of the country, there is a form at the end of this page where you can share information about it.

My aim in creating this page is to provide you with the information you need to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of one of these Senior citizen scams. Here are a few guidelines

  • Never give your credit card or credit card information to ANYONE who telephones you - not even if they identify themselves as a member of the fraud department of you credit card company. Click here to read about Senior citizen scams: Phone call from someone who says they are from your fraud departments of you credit card company
  • Never agree to someone doing work on your home - unless YOU contacted them to give you an estimate on the job first. If someone comes to your door and says you need work on your driveway, house or yard, simply take their card and tell them that you will call them when you are ready for the work to be done.
  • If you are hiring someone to make repairs or improvements, be sure to get the list of what they are going to do and the price they are going to charge IN WRITING.
  • If you contract with a company for one job and in the middle of doing it, one of the workers comes and says, "well you also need .... and if we can do it today, while we are here, we will do it for a low price" be CAUTIOUS. Unless you know this company very well consider saying, "thank you but I think I need to get a bid on it before I agree to additional work"
  • Do not give your credit card number over the phone in response to solicitations from charities or political groups. You have no way of checking that the caller really represents the group. Simply say, "I do not donations by phone. If you wish to send me information in the mail, I will consider it."
  • If someone comes to the door claiming to be from the utility company or telephone company, ask to see their photo identification BEFORE you let them enter your home or have access to your property.
  • If someone comes to make a repair and has a helper, be sure that the two persons are always together in your presence. If one of them says, "You have a problem outside, I would like to show it to you. Be sure that BOTH workers go outside to see the problem with you. Do not leave anyone alone in your home - or you may find your money or jewelry gone.
  • More Senior citizen scams This has been used in at least 11 states is the Jury duty scam
  • A company that does not honor its ads. Read about Hydrosil heating warning
  • Ruth sent us this scam offered to her neighbor: A Mr. Glen Davis teled from the US Commerce Dept in Washington stating my neighbor would receiving $450,000.00 from the Bank of America, from the Lloyds of London Policy #A766-8412 if my neighbor would get a Western Union transfer from the Giant food store on N Bethlehem Pike in Montgomery County PA. A Mr William Valbrana from San Jose Costa Rica will be by on Mon 5/6 between 2 & 3 pm to pick it up . What a Scam!!!!!

If you know of specific Senior Citizen scams, do consider sharing your information so we can all know about them. Knowledge is power.

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