ELDER SCAMS OF 2019

February 09, 2019 at 5:00 am

Seniors statewide are being preyed upon by criminals attempting to steal their hard earned savings. We’ve got the information to keep you and your loved ones safe. For more info on how you can protect your loved ones, click here.

Aired on January 8, 2019.

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>> SCAMS AGAINST THE ELDERLY
HAVE SKYROCKETED IN THIS COUNTRY
WITH SENIORS LOSING AT LEAST $3
BILLION EVERY YEAR TO CON
ARTISTS.
IN FACT, FINANCIAL SCAMS
TARGETING SENIORS HAVE BECOME SO
PREVALENT THAT THEY HAVE BEEN
LABELLED THE CRIME OF THE 21st
CENTURY.
BUT WHAT MAKES SENIORS SO
VULNERABLE TO THE CRIMES?
HOW EXACTLY ARE THEY BEING
CONNED?
AND WHAT CAN SENIORS DO TO
PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM
SCAMMERS?
JOINING US NOW WITH ANSWERS TO
THESE QUESTIONS IS BETH, STATE
DIRECTOR OF AARP NEW YORK.
BETH, WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.
>> THANK YOU.
>> SO WHAT DOES MAKE SENIORS SO
VULNERABLE TO THE CRIMES?
>> WELL, YOU KNOW, OLDER ADULTS,
WE'RE BORN IN DIFFERENT CENTURY.
RIGHT?
AND THEY WERE RAISED IN A
DIFFERENT WAY.
THEY WERE RAISED TO BE VERY
POLITE.
THEY WERE RAISED TO BE
HOSPITALABILITY AND GRACIOUS.
AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT MAKES
THEM VULNERABLE BECAUSE THEY
DON'T HANG UP THE PHONE.
IF SOMEONE CALLS THEM, THEY
DON'T WANT TO BE IMPOLITE AND
JUST HANG UP ON THEM.
SO THEY'RE AT HOME.
NOBODY IS CALLING THEM ON THE
PHONE.
THEY'RE WATCHING TV.
THEY DON'T GET OUT AS MUCH.
AND SOMEONE CALLS WITH A VERY
SWEET PLEASANT VOICE.
SCAM ARTISTS, THEY KNOW HOW TO
TALK TO THE VULNERABLE, RIGHT?
>> LET'S GO OVER SOME OF THE
SCAMS.
THE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT NOW,
WE'RE GOING TO COME PICK YOU UP
AND THROW YOU IN JAIL.
COMMON SENSE WOULD TELL YOU THE
IRS IS NOT GOING TO COME AND
THROW YOU IN JAIL TOMORROW.
AND THEY'RE NOT GOING TO CALL
YOU.
THEY'RE GOING TO SEND YOU A
LETTER.
IF GOD FORBID YOU ARE BEHIND,
YOU HAVEN'T PAID YOUR TAXES,
THEY WILL SEND YOU A LETTER
FIRST.
IF YOU GET A CALL LIKE THAT,
HANG UP.
PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL THE
IRS.
AND CHECK TO SEE IF, IN FACT,
YOU'RE IN ARREARS IN ANY WAY.
>> BY THE WAY, IS THERE ANY
GOVERNMENT AGENCY THAT WOULD
CALL YOU UP AND ASK FOR MONEY?
>> NOT LIKELY.
>> OKAY.
SO GIVE ME ANOTHER ONE.
>> THE TECH ONE.
MIGHT BE SOMEONE MAKING BELIEVE
THEY'RE COMING FROM MICROSOFT OR
ANOTHER BIG COMPANY LIKE THAT.
SAYING WE THINK THAT THERE IS A
VIRUS ON YOUR COMPUTER.
AND WE NEED YOU TO GIVE US
ACCESS TO YOUR COMPUTER RIGHT
NOW AND GIVE US A CREDIT CARD
NUMBER OVER THE PHONE SO WE CAN
GET INTO YOUR COMPUTER AND SOLVE
THIS PROBLEM FOR YOU.
ANOTHER ONE I THINK YOU HEARD IS
THE GRANDPARENTING ONE.
>> OH, YEAH.
>> THEY CALL YOU UP.
>> I HEAR ABOUT IT.
I READ ABOUT IT.
IT BROKE MY HEART.
TELL PEOPLE ABOUT THAT.
>> YOU GET A PHONE CALL.
THIS IS YOUR GRANDSON WILL.
AND I'M STUCK IN LONDON.
AND I NEED MONEY RIGHT AWAY
BECAUSE I GOT ROBBED IN UTAH AND
GRANDMA HELP ME GET HOME.
RIGHT?
AGAIN, COMMON SENSE, HANG UP THE
PHONE.
CALL YOUR GRANDSON.
>> RIGHT.
ASIDE FROM THE PHONE, THE
INTERNET, RIGHT?
WHEN YOU GET E-MAILS.
YOU GET AN E-MAIL THAT SAYS
CLICK IN HERE.
YOU KNOW, WITH AMAZON OR GOOGLE
OR SOMETHING, YOU KNOW, OR YOUR
BANKS NAME.
IT'S VERY AUTHORITATIVE, RIGHT?
YOU BELIEVE IT.
IT SAYS LINK HERE FOR
INFORMATION.
PEOPLE TEND TO DO THAT.
AND THEY'LL DO IT.
>> DON'T DO IT.
IN E-MAILS, YOU CAN SEE IF IT'S
AN HTTP BEFORE YOU CLICK
THROUGH.
YOU KNOW, THAT'S HOW YOU KNOW
THAT THERE IS MORE SAFETY IN THE
E-MAIL THAT'S ARE COMING IN.
THERE IS THE GIFT CARD.
I THINK AN IMPORTANT ONE FOR
PEOPLE TO BE AWARE OF.
YOU GO INTO A LOCAL SHOP AND
THERE IS A RACK OF CARDS.
AND THOSE CARDS COULD HAVE BEEN
TAMPERED WITH.
THEY COULD HAVE BEEN OPENED IN
ADVANCE AND THEN RESEALED.
WHEN THEY OPEN THEM IN ADVANCE,
THEY GET THE PIN NUMBER AND THE
NUMBER ON IT.
AND WHEN YOU GO AND BUY IT, ALL
OF A SUDDEN IT GETS ACTIVATED.
AND EVEN BEFORE YOU HAD A CHANCE
TO USE IT OR GIVE IT TO SOMEBODY
ELSE, THAT SCAMMER HAS ALREADY
ARE EMPTIED OUT THAT GIFT CARD
OF MONEY.
SO IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT
WHEN IT COMES TO BUYING GIFT
CARDS, NUMBER ONE, CHECK TO SEE
IF THE PACKAGING LOOKS TAMPERED
WITH.
BUT IT'S BETTER TO BUY IT FROM
THE CASHIER ITSELF OR THE
RETAILER ITSELF.
THEN YOU KNOW YOU'RE SAFER.
>> ANYTHING ELSE THAT SENIORS
SHOULD DO TO MAKE SURE THEY'RE
PROTECTING THEMSELVES FROM
SCAMS?
>> A LITTLE BIT MORE SKEPTICISM
AND CYNICISM.
THAT'S VERY HEALTHY.
AND PEOPLE CAN BE VERY TRUSTING.
AND THEY'RE BANKING ON YOU BEING
TRUSTING.
>> HOW CAN THE FAMILY MEMBERS
HELP MAKE SURE THAT THEIR
PARENTS OR GRABNDPARENTSES ARE
BEING SCAMMED?
>> HAVE THE CONVERSATION.
THAT'S FIRST THING YOU NEED TO
DO.
HAVE THE CONVERSATION WITH YOUR
LOVES ONES.
SAY, YOU KNOW, I READ ABOUT THIS
RECENTLY.
I HEARD THIS IS GOING AROUND.
OR THIS HAPPENED TO A FRIEND OF
MINE.
AND THEN JUST KIND OF GO THROUGH
SOME OF THE POINTERS THAT WE
JUST DISCUSS SODED SO PEOPLE CA
PREARMED AND ALSO TELL THEM,
DON'T BE EMBARRASSED ABOUT IT.
IF SOMEONE -- IF YOU THINK
YOU'VE BEEN SCAMMED, LET ME
KNOW.
THERE ARE ACTIONS WE CAN TAKE.
YOU CAN CALL THE IRS.
YOU CAN CALL THE UTILITY
COMPANY, YOU KNOW, YOU CAN CALL
ANY NUMBER OF PLACES.
AND FINALLY, I WOULD SAY AARP
HAS GOT A GREAT WEBSITE.
IT'S AARP.ORG/FRAUDWATCHNETWORK.
ON THAT SITE YOU CAN REGISTER
AND WE'LL SEND YOU ALERTS OF
WHEN THERE ARE DIFFERENT SCAMS
GOING ON IN YOUR ZIP CODE IN
YOUR COMMUNITY.
SO THAT'S ALSO A REALLY GOOD WAY
TO GO.
AND YOU CAN GO IN AND MENTION
WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU.
AND WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR THAT
TOO.
>> ALL RIGHT.
THANK YOU SO MUCH.
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT.
SUCH A AWFUL CRIME.
I'M SO GLAD YOU CAME HERE TO
TALK TO US ABOUT IT.
>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
>> FOR MORE INFORMATION AN HOW
TO AVOID THE SCAMS, VISIT OUR
WEBSITE AT METROFOCUS.ORG.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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