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USS Bonhomme Richard – giving to sailors in need

by Carol Kando-Pineda Counsel, FTC, Division of Consumer & Business Education You may have seen reports of the fire that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard. Dozens of sailors fled the burning ship and lost all their possessions. When a distressing event like this happens, many folks look for ways to help. But you also want to make sure your money gets to the people you want to help. In this case, scammers are making that more difficult. Officials at Naval Base Coronado have sounded the alarm about fake crowdfunding pages trying to take advantage of the...

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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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