We at the Franklin Park Borough Police Department have noticed an increase in fraud reports including Elder Fraud. We would like to pass along information regarding common types of fraud to our residents to help further protect yourself from suffering monetary loss. Please take the time to review these tips listed below from the FBI concerning Elder Fraud. (You can also check out Scams and Safety at www.FBI.gov for more information or visit www.ftc.gov to report fraud or identity theft.)
Here Are Eight Common Elder Fraud Schemes To Look Out For:
- Romance scam: Criminals pose as interested romantic partners on social media or dating websites to capitalize on their elderly victims’ desire to find companions.
- Tech support scam: Criminals pose as technology support representatives and offer to fix non-existent computer issues. The scammers gain remote access to victims’ devices and sensitive information.
- Grandparent scam: Criminals pose as a relative—usually a child or grandchild—claiming to be in immediate financial need.
- Government impersonation scam: Criminals pose as government employees and threaten to arrest or prosecute victims unless they agree to provide funds or other payments.
- Sweepstakes/charity/lottery scam: Criminals claim to work for legitimate charitable organizations to gain victims’ trust. Or they claim their targets have won a foreign lottery or sweepstake, which they can collect for a “fee.”
- Home repair scam: Criminals appear in person and charge homeowners in advance for home improvement services that they never provide.
- TV/radio scam: Criminals target potential victims using illegitimate advertisements about legitimate services, such as reverse mortgages or credit repair.
- Family/caregiver scam: Relatives or acquaintances of the elderly victims take advantage of them or otherwise get their money.
Other Helpful Tips From Your Local PD:
- Do not share information with strangers over the phone. (Ex: Address/ Social Security Number, Birth Date) Make sure you know who you are talking to and who you are dealing with before releasing any of your personal info.
- Check credit reports often for any suspicious activity. You can also flag you credit with a “fraud alert” by contacting Experian 1-800-952-6285, Equifax 1-800-525-6285, or TransUnion 1-800-680-7289. These companies will alert you of credit activity to help further protect yourself.
- Change passwords to all accounts frequently. (Ex: Banking Apps/Accounts, Email, Social Media)
- No reputable company would request payment by gift cards. DO NOT buy gift cards and give the numbers on the back to any company to pay for any service.
Anyone who has fallen victim to fraud or with information regarding any crime is asked to contact the Franklin Park Borough Police at 412-364-1227. These reports can often be referred to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office and/or other various Federal Agencies for further investigation. Think twice before giving out any personal information and feel free to call us with questions or concerns of involvement in a fraudulent scheme.