Preventing Elder Fraud
PREVENTING ELDER FRAUD
According to the FBI, millions of elderly Americans fall victim to fraud every year. From sweepstakes scams to telemarketing fraud, thieves prey on older victims because they tend to be trusting, polite, and tend to have established assets and good credit. We’ve compiled a list of warning signs to help you and your loved ones recognize a scam.
Common Signs of Elder Fraud or Scams
The free gift – “You’ve won a free prize! You just need to pay for postage and handling.”
The family emergency – “Grandma, it’s me. I’m in trouble, and I need you to send money.”
The threat – “You need to pay this bill immediately or else!”
The deal – “This is a great bargain. We just need you to pay up front – in cash.”
The appeal from charity – “We’re helping victims of the recent (natural disaster). Can you give a contribution?”
Once you suspect that you’re talking to a scammer, what steps should you take? We’ve compiled a list of Dos and Don’ts to help prevent you and your loved ones from becoming fraud victims.
Elder Fraud Dos and Don’ts
Resist pressure to act quickly. Scammers create a false sense or urgency to manipulate you.
Hang up and call First Harvest or visit a branch to verify that the call was legitimate.
Monitor your accounts for suspicious activity and contact us immediately if you suspect fraud.
Give any personal information out over the phone.
Send money, gift cards, checks or account information to unverified people or businesses.
Open emails from an email address you don’t recognize.
If you recognize the common signs of a scam and take the proper steps when you see them, you can avoid become a fraud victim. Remember, First Harvest Credit Union will never call and ask you to purchase gift cards to satisfy a loan payment or for any other purpose. If you do receive a call from someone claiming to be from First Harvest Credit Union, we encourage you to hang up and call us or visit your closest branch to verify that the call is legitimate. Be wary and stay safe online and on the phone.
For more information, visit https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes/elder-fraud or https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/.