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Scam Update: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. We urge people of all ages to take note of the ongoing scams affecting seniors in our communities. Typical scams targeting older Americans thrive on financial abuse and exploitation. Scams are illegal and a form of elder abuse. Last week, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra warned residents to be cautious about scammers pretending to be coronavirus contact tracers.[1] As more public health orders relax, counties are hiring contract tracers to track and identify outbreaks of coronavirus. There have already been numerous reports of scammers posing as contract tracers and asking for private information, such as Medicare number, Social Security number or bank account information. Contract tracers will never ask for such personal information, or banking information. Attorney General Becerra urges residents to report such fraud to his office immediately. The California Senior Medicare Patrol also has a toll-free hotline to report scams involving private health information: 1-855-613-7080. The IRS reported recent scams related to fake charities and phishing schemes by email, letter,...

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60 and over in the time of COVID-19? Read on.

March 30, 2020 by Jennifer Leach Associate Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC I know, 60-year-olds. You’re not old. In fact, we’ve found that, when people think “old,” they think of someone about 10 years older than they are right now. But, because we’ve been warned about the effects of the Coronavirus on people 60+, listen up. Because scammers follow the headlines and know you might have this on your mind. Right now, scammers are scuttling out of their dark corners to offer false hope (Home test kits! A cure!) and use fear (Your Social Security number is about to be revoked! Your loved one is in trouble!) – all to get your money or information. (None of those things are real, by the way.) They’re asking for your bank routing number to “help” you get your relief money – which is not how you’ll get it, by the way. They’re sending fake emails that look real, but those fake CDC or World Health Organization emails are...

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Could it Happen to You?

Our 88 year old client was approached by 3 door – to – door salespeople about applying a special, “environmentally friendly” exterior paint to her home.  Our client explained that she had just had her home painted but they wouldn’t leave until she agreed to the work.  Feeling pressured, she signed some papers to get these 3 strangers out of her home. The men told her PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing would take care of it and help her out.  The contract price was over $28,000, adding $2,800 to her property tax bill for 20 years. Could she afford it? No!  Did she understand how PACE financing works?  No! Maybe it could happen to you.  To protect yourself, don’t open the door to people who just show up. Talk “through the door” before opening it because once you let them in, it can be very hard to get them out.   If you are a senior and have questions about a home improvement contract, call us for free...

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