Seniors Target of Scams

March 22, 2007
Reported by The Better Business Bureau

Senior citizens in our area continue to be targets of scams over the phone, through the mail and by door to door solicitors.  The Better Business Bureau has received calls and complaints from local senior citizens on scams that range from calls impersonating Medicare, overseas sweepstakes scams, request to update personal financial information and door to door itinerants.  "Most complainants indicate that callers are foreign and request personal financial information, such as bank account information or social security numbers," states Carmen Million, BBB President.

The Bureau continues to warn consumers to keep personal information private.  Million states consumers should never, ever give this information to an unknown person or caller.  The Bureau states that seniors can educate themselves to avoid being taken and offers the following tips:

Do not be a courtesy victim.
     Con artists will not hesitate to exploit your good manners.
     If an unknown caller asks for personal financial information, hang up!
     Check out strangers touting too good to be true deals.
     Do not judge a book by its cover.
     Successful con artists sound and look extremely professional and have the ability to make     even the worst deal sound good.  
     Never let an unknown person into your home, especially when you are alone. 
     Remember, Medicare does not make calls to consumers to update information. 
     Foreign lotteries are illegal in the U.S. and you are not eligible to win.
     Never pay money to win something.
     When in doubt, call the BBB at 478-6253