The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse suggests the reason the elderly may be attractive targets for scam artists is because seniors often do not realize the value of their assets. Additionally, persons over the age of 50 control more than 70 percent of the nation’s wealth.
Experts say the first thing you should do if you think you have been conned is to call your bank and the police department. Canceling credit cards and changing passwords also are good first steps toward protecting your finances.
The following organizations may be helpful should you find yourself or a loved one the victim of financial fraud:
- New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office can be reached at (800) 771-7755.
- Lifespan of Greater Rochester Inc. offers scam advice and help for elderly victims of fraud. The organization can be reached at 244-8400.
- U.S. Department of Justice Elder Justice Initiative can be found online at www.justice.gov/elderjustice/support/resources.html.
- Adult Protective Services has several locations in Rochester. The organization can be reached at 232-3280 or online at www.eldercare.gov.
- The Federal Trade Commission has an online toolkit that includes information on financial protection. The toolkit is available at www.ftc.gov/idtheft, while an online complaint form is available at www.ftc.gov/complaint.
- Social Security Administration can be reached at (800) 772-1213 or by visiting www.ssa.gov.
- AARP tracks financial scams on its scam-tracking map located at action.aarp.org/site/SPageNavigator/FraudMap.html. The AARP Foundation Fraud Fighter Center can be reached at (877) 908-3360. The organization’s fraud watch network can be found at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.
- Internal Revenue Service’s identity protection specialized unit can be found at www.irs.gov/identitytheft or by calling (800) 908-4490.
- Equifax credit reporting company can be reached at (800) 525-6285; Experian can be reached at (888) 397-3742; and TransUnion can be reached at (800) 680-7289.
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