Targeted for Fraud
"Congratulations, you've just won a fabulous prize.
You can choose a diamond ring, deluxe vacation for
two, or an entertainment center." This seemingly
good news might quicken your pulse, but do not let
it override your good judgment. Be skeptical because
the prize may never be awarded or may not be worth
collecting. Sometimes, you won't know you've been
scammed until you see the so-called "prize." For
instance, the diamond might be the size of a
pinhead, and the vacation for two a certificate for
poor lodging and a headache. And the entertainment
center? Nothing more than a cheap, plastic toy.
Scam artists from the United States and other
countries are working hard to entice you to buy into
their bogus claims, charities, lotteries and
prizes—all with the hope that you will send money to
get your reward. All too often you are giving the
reward to the scam artist who gets your money and
leaves you with little or nothing.
It is hard to spot fraud when it is happening.
The Federal Trade Commission estimates that
consumers lose more than $40 billion a year to
telemarketing fraud. And, if you are in "older"
consumer, you are a special target for those selling
bogus products and services. Sixty percent of
all callers to the National Fraud Information Center
describe themselves as senior citizens.
What To Do
If You Are A Victim Of Identity Theft:
Contact all creditors to inform them of
Contact the Federal Trade Commission at
Call the three credit bureaus (fraud
Alert your banks. Request a change of PIN
and a new password.
Contact your local police. In
Connecticut, identity theft is a Class D Felony, under
CGS53a-129, punishable by one to five years in prison
and a fine.
Contact a private attorney. You may be
able to bring a civil action for damages under 52-571h.
further information on Identity Theft or to file a
complaint, you may call the FTC’s Identity Theft toll-free
hotline at 1-877-438-4338, or by mail at Identity Theft
Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania
Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580; or visit
The Federal Trade
How to Avoid Scams
Don't do business over the telephone with callers you
don't know. That friendly voice on the other end of the
line may be a crook.
written materials before you commit yourself to any
you send any money, check out the company and its offer
with the Attorney General's Office or the Better
give your credit card or checking account numbers to
someone you don't know.
social security number confidential.
from a "deal" if you are being pressured to make an
What are the most popular scams being conducted today?
What do you do if you suspect you are victim of fraud?
For more information about Fraud and Seniors visit the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Fraud Target:
Seniors webpage and/or the
FirstGov for Seniors website.
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