Did you know that…

 …Online scams affect one in four households each year at an estimated loss of $50 billion?  But most people believe that others are more at risk of being scammed than they are.  Research shows that we will are at risk.  Those most likely to be victimized (on the internet) tend to be people ages 25 to 34.  Most common swindles affecting this age group:  Online purchase scams, employment scams and debt-collection scams. 

But seniors are the most highly targeted age-group with over ten types of scams at work.  Financial scams targeting seniors have become so prevalent they have been called, ‘The crime of the 21st century.’  These scams involve:

 -Medicare/health insurance scams    -Counterfeit prescription drugs

-Funeral & cemetery scams     -Fraudulent anti-aging products

-Telemarketing/phone scams   -Internet fraud

-Investment schemes      -Homeowner/reverse mortgage scams

-Sweepstakes & lottery scams   

Bottom Line: Don’t give ANYONE your personal information over the phone. 

If you suspect you’ve been the victim of a scam…

   …Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to talk about it with someone you trust.  You are not alone, and there are people who can help.  Doing nothing could only make it worse.  Keep phone numbers and resources you can turn to handy including local police, your bank (if money has been taken) and Adult Protective Services.  To obtain the contact information for Adult Protective Services in your area, call the Eldercare Locator, a government sponsored national resource line, at 1-800-677-1116, or visit their website at:  www.eldercare.gov.

   Sources:  National Council on Aging:  www.ncoa.org and  a study conducted by the Institute for Marketplace Trust, the educational foundation of the Council of Better Business Bureaus.