Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Scams on the Elderly: Beware!

Promises of instant wealth can be appealing to anyone of any age, but perhaps particularly so among the elderly. Individuals living on fixed incomes in an era of constantly rising cost of living can be particularly vulnerable. In 2002, the National Fraud Information Center estimated that the elderly were bilked by unscrupulous telemarketers for $40 billion for schemes such as prizes/sweepstakes, lottery clubs, and magazine sales. The Federal Trade Commission has uncovered and successfully prosecuted fraudulent companies’ claims of products marketed as treatments or cures for disease.

If you, or someone you know, may be wary of high-pressure tactics, or service claims that are “too good to be true,” please contact local authorities and professionals to verify these claims. Don’t be a victim, and don’t be embarrassed to ask for help if you or someone you know has fallen prey to a scam.

-- By Brad Catherman
Vice President, Gift Planning
Senior Citizen Services

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