Elder Abuse Awareness and Common Scams
- June 4, 2019
- Category: Press Releases
Last night the Mayor and City Council presented a Proclamation Recognizing June 15th, 2019 as Elder Awareness Day. This proclamation is to recognize the importance of taking action and raising awareness for elder, both physical and financial. Thank you to Tuolumne County Victim Witness Coordinator Ginger Martin for being a driving force for this important proclamation.
Unfortunately, many senior citizens are targeted every day and defrauded out of their life savings. In far too many cases, these crimes go unsolved as they are being perpetrated by people outside of the United States. In April we shared the below information about common scams, but since then we have taken several more calls from the community who have fallen victim to these types of crimes.
PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION and help us reach those who are being targeted.
Top 5 Scams to Look Out For:
SOCIAL SECURITY SCAM
Scammers have been calling Social Security benefit receivers informing them their Social Security is being suspended due to criminal or fraudulent activity and that an arrest warrant or a lawsuit will be taken against them. They will give you another number to call to end the supposed action, or they are being asked to verify their Social Security number and other personal information like bank account numbers and date of birth. If this information is supplied, the scammers can use it to take money from your accounts and even possibly sign up for benefits if the rightful Social Security account has not done so or diverted payments to another address.
WHAT TO DO:
Do not give out any information and hang up. Also, try to avoid saying words like “yes,” “I agree” or any other confirming statement, they can record these statements and use the recordings to obtain benefits or authorize bank transfers. Again, Social Security will typically only contact by mail and will not threaten to arrest you or file a lawsuit against you. If this scam does happen to you, report it to Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271.
During tax season we receive many reports of subjects stating they are from the IRS and attempting to collect tax debts. The caller will claim you owe the IRS money and if you do not comply they will issue a warrant for your arrest.
WHAT TO DO:
DO NOT call the number back. The IRS will not call you and ask for any of your personal information or credit card numbers. If you do owe taxes, the IRS will send you a statement in the mail. The IRS will NOT make threats or intimidate anyone, nor will the IRS request payment via gift cards, google play cards, iTunes cards, or prepaid debit cards. If you receive a call like this, HANG UP IMMEDIATELY. Scammers will be persistent and call repeatedly, continue to ignore the calls, do not give out any information, and the calls will stop. The IRS is currently investigating these types of scams and requests you report these incidents to them directly at 1-800-366-4484.
FAMILY MEMBER JAILED
Scammers create fake emergencies in an attempt to fraud you and take your money.
WHAT TO DO:
The best thing you can do is to try and contact the family member in question directly or call the local jail to confirm if the family member has been arrested.
Robocalls about arrest warrants. These are often “spoofed” numbers which make it appear as if the calls are coming from your local law enforcement including Sheriffs Office, Police Department, or County Jail. The caller will tell the potential victim that they have an outstanding warrant for an unpaid debt or minor infraction and that a fine is owed. The scammers will demand payments via western union or money gram.
WHAT TO DO:
Do not provide any form of payment or personal information. Warrants are sent out by mail and will include an official signature from a judge. You will NEVER be notified by phone from your local law enforcement regarding a warrant of arrest.
Scammers call about false issues with your account. They may ask you to call back on a non – PGE number. These scammers pose as representatives for PGE and ask for prepaid credit cards to collect payment.
WHAT TO DO:
Do not provide any personal information or payment. For additional information, you can visit the website for (UUAS) utilities united against scams which have been set up to raise awareness and educate customers about scams.
Be sure to share this post and notify your friends and loved ones about these scams, so they do not become a victim.