Don't Be a Victim: Elder Fraud

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Criminals are always looking for ways to get their hands on other people's money, often targeting the most vulnerable members of society.

In this week's 'Don't Be a Victim' report, we looked at some of the top financial scams aimed at Seniors and what can be done about it.

We've told you about many of these scams before. There's certainly no shortage of them.

"Seniors are typically more targeted than others," said Bob Scutta, IKOR CEO/Owner. "One in 10 Seniors will experience some sort of fraud in a year."

The National Council on Aging has put together a list of the top financial scams targeting Seniors. At the top of that list are Medicare slash health insurance scams where perpetrators may pose as a medical representative to get older people to give them their personal information. Counterfeit prescription drug scams are also growing as well as funeral cemetery scams, fraudulent anti-aging products, and telemarketing phone scams.

Another popular one we've told you about are grandparent scams - where scammers often pretend to be a grandchild who has gotten into trouble and needs money.

Bob Scutta is the owner of IKOR - a professional advocacy and life care management company.

"When you don't have sort of a check and balance system, it is more difficult to know whether something is legitimate or not," he said.

To protect yourself, the National Council on Aging says be aware that you are at-risk from strangers as well as those closer to you. Ironically, 90 percent of all reported elder abuse is committed by the older person's own family members.

Be skeptical of all unsolicited offers and do your research, shred all receipts that have your credit card number on them, sign up for the 'Do Not Call' list, and use direct deposit. Also, make sure to never give out personal information unless you initiated the call.

If you think you've been scammed, don't be embarrassed or afraid to talk about it. Waiting could make it worse.

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