Consumer fraud - Just Say No!

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<ul><li>1.Consumer Fraud Just Say No! Presenter: Barbara J. Stark</li></ul> <p>2. What is consumer fraud? </p> <ul><li>fraudis an intentionaldeceptionmade for personal gain or to damage another individual </li></ul> <ul><li>Fraud is acrime , and also acivil lawviolation. </li></ul> <ul><li>Fraud can be committed through many media, includingmail ,wire ,phone , and theInternet( computer crimeandInternet fraud ) </li></ul> <p>3. Facts about consumer fraud </p> <ul><li>Seniors aged 60 and older account for about15%of the population in the United States </li></ul> <ul><li>Yet, according to some estimates, seniors account for30%of fraud victims </li></ul> <p>4. Objectives </p> <ul><li>By the end of this presentation you will be able to:</li></ul> <ul><li>Recognize senior scams</li></ul> <ul><li>Protect yourself from fraud </li></ul> <ul><li>Know steps to take if you become a victim </li></ul> <ul><li>Know where to learn more </li></ul> <p>5. Why are seniors targeted? </p> <ul><li><ul><li>Generally, seniors </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>are more vulnerable and trusting </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>have trouble spotting fraud </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>find it difficult to end unwanted telemarketing calls </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>are often reluctant to seek advice about financial matters</li></ul></li></ul> <p>6. Types of common scams </p> <ul><li>Sweepstakes and lotteries </li></ul> <ul><li>Charities </li></ul> <ul><li>Sucker lists </li></ul> <ul><li>Deed forgeries </li></ul> <ul><li>Identity theft </li></ul> <ul><li>Caretaker crimes </li></ul> <ul><li>Medicare and health fraud </li></ul> <ul><li>Funeral and burial </li></ul> <p>7. Sweepstakes and Lottery scams </p> <ul><li>Youre told that youve won a sweepstakes or the Canadian lottery </li></ul> <ul><li>Youre asked to pay for processing, taxes or delivery, or provide a bank account number to verify your identity</li></ul> <ul><li>No one ever receives a penny except for the thieves </li></ul> <p>8. Charity scams </p> <ul><li> Sound-alike names can be tricky and deceptive </li></ul> <ul><li>Nonprofit and charitable groups must file IRS Form 990 </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Check 990s at GuideStarwww.guidestar.org </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>Before you donate, check to see if the charity is legitimate </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>www.charitywatch.org : 773-529-2300 </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>www.nasconet.org(report charity fraud) </li></ul></li></ul> <p>9. Sucker lists </p> <ul><li><ul><li>If you often respond to sweepstakes or contests, your name might be added to lists sold to con artists </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>A sucker list contains the names of people who have been, or are good candidates to be, victims of fraud</li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>People on the lists may hear from crooks who claim they can help recover, for a fee, money lost to a con artist </li></ul></li></ul> <p>10. Deed forgeries </p> <ul><li>Scam artists forge the homeowners signature on transfer deeds so that they can illegally acquire ownership of the property </li></ul> <ul><li>Never sign blank contracts or other documentsthey could be filled in later by scam artists who want to steal your property </li></ul> <p>11. Identity theft </p> <ul><li>ID theft criminals use your personal information to apply for credit or government benefits </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Your name </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Your birth date</li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Your Social Security number </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Your address </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Your bank account or credit card numbers</li></ul></li></ul> <p>12. Caretaker crimes </p> <ul><li>Be alert for caregivers </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>who try to isolate you from your friends and family </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>who ask about your will and investments </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>who ask to be given power of attorney </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>who try to dominate or influence you </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>Tell family members or call adult protective services </li></ul> <p>13. Medicare fraud </p> <ul><li><ul><li>Itis illegal for companies offering Medicare drug plans to charge you a fee, or to offer you cash or free food to get you to enroll in a plan. </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>If you are interested in the benefits available to you as a Medicare beneficiary, visit the federal governments Medicare web site(www.medicare.gov)or call800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227). </li></ul></li></ul> <p>14. Health fraud </p> <ul><li>Signs of health fraud include: </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Promoters of cures who claim that the medical establishment is keeping information away from consumers </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Testimonials from people who supposedly have been cured </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li> Secret formulas that no one else has </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>The use of infomercialsprograms that look like news, but are just lengthy ads paid for by the promoter </li></ul></li></ul> <p>15. Funeral and Burial scams </p> <ul><li><ul><li>It makes sense to plan your funeral and burial in advance.</li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Do your homework before paying for funeral/burial services in advance.</li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Draw up your plans with a reputable funeral business and save a copy for your survivors.</li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>If you want cover the cost of your funeral, you can include funds to do so in your will. </li></ul></li></ul> <p>16. Warning signs of fraud </p> <ul><li>Be suspicious if you hear: </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Youve won a prize or free gift </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Youve been selected to receive a special offer </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>You must act immediately or lose out </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>You must pay for shipping your prize or free gift </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Give us your credit card number and expiration date to verify that you are a credit cardholder </li></ul></li></ul> <p>17. More warning signs of fraud </p> <ul><li><ul><li>Youre asked for personal information </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Youre asked to donate to an agency whose name sounds like a well known charity </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Youre one of only a chosen few to receive this offer </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>A courier will come to your home to get your payment </li></ul></li></ul> <p>18. The Grandparents Scam </p> <ul><li>Grandma! Hi, how are you? </li></ul> <ul><li> Hi, Billy.How are you? </li></ul> <ul><li> Actually, Im in some trouble, and dont want Mom and Dad to know . . . </li></ul> <p>19. The Grandparents Scam(contd) </p> <ul><li>How can you avoid this type of scam? </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Verify the callers identity (personal questions) to make sure hes family! </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Resist the pressure to act immediately.</li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Call the local police on a non-emergency line. </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Do not wire money or send money via an overnight courier. </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Report the fraud to the FTC. </li></ul></li></ul> <p>20. Protect yourselfJust say no! </p> <ul><li>Dontbe pressured to make immediate decisions </li></ul> <ul><li>Dontgive your financial account information or Social Security number over the telephone </li></ul> <ul><li>Dontbuy something merely because it comes with a free gift </li></ul> <ul><li>Dontfall for statements that you have won a prize, especially if you must send money to claim it </li></ul> <ul><li>Dontsend cash by messenger or overnight mail </li></ul> <p>21. Protect your property and assets </p> <ul><li>Financial exploitation is often committed by a person that is trusted by the victim </li></ul> <ul><li>Keep all important financial documents under lock and key in your home </li></ul> <ul><li>Store valuables in a bank safe deposit box </li></ul> <p>22. If you become a victim </p> <ul><li>Call the police </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>You may need a police report to help you prove that you were a victim </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>Contact your state and local law enforcement agencies such as your district attorneys office or the state attorney general </li></ul> <p>23. Elder Abuse Prevention </p> <ul><li>Directory of Elder Abuse Prevention Resources </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>The National Center on Elder Abuse www.ncea.aoa.gov </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li><ul><li>Click on Find State Resources </li></ul></li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Call 800-677-1116</li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>The federal agency that advocates for older persons </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>www.aoa.gov </li></ul></li></ul> <p>24. Thank you! </p> <ul><li>For more information contact: </li></ul> <ul><li>American Debt Counseling, Inc. </li></ul> <ul><li>A 501(c )(3)non-profit Credit Counseling Organization </li></ul> <ul><li>14051 NW 14 thStreet </li></ul> <ul><li>Sunrise, FL 33323 </li></ul> <ul><li>www.americandebtcounseling.org </li></ul> <ul><li>1-888-DEBT USA </li></ul>

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