Seniors Targeted in Area Scams

Constituents report harassing phone calls to State Assembly Office

Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I--Pulaski) warned people that there are several scams taking place in the area, particularly targeting seniors. He said seniors should know what to avoid so they can protect themselves. Loved ones of seniors should also be on the alert to help prevent scammers from victimizing seniors.

"A number of constituents have called the office, reporting that they have received harassing phone calls at all hours of the day from people who demand personal information," said Barclay. "Not only is this a nuisance at the very least, but often, these scammers are aggressive, call repeatedly and use threatening language as a means to try and get what they want from potential victims. This is illegal and should be reported to the State Consumer Protection Board."

If people believe they have been a victim of a telemarketing or a mail scam, they are encouraged to contact the State Consumer Protection Board at 1-800-697-1220 and to report it the local authorities as well. In some cases, there are investigations underway and your experience may help investigators.

The State Consumer Protection Board publishes a helpful guidebook called Smart Senior. According to the guidebook, people over the age of 65 make up almost 13 percent of the United States population but represent 30 percent of scam victims. Every year, seniors lose thousands of dollars responding to telemarketing calls selling a variety of products, worthless services, and overvalued or risky investments.

According to the State Consumer Protection Board, it is a $40 billion a year business for scam artists who often use high-pressure sales tactics and make offers on the phone that can sound too good to be true.

The most common scams involve:

Advance fee loans


Business opportunities

Real estate

Credit card offers

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