June 9, 2017By Ron Brow, MORe Now Contributor Mainstreet recently hosted Senior Expos in Arlington Heights and Downers Grove. One of the topics that was addressed at both locations was Senior Fraud Protection.But, as Berenice Martinez from the Attorney General’s Office in Illinois pointed out, fraud isn’t only for seniors.
“It’s not only the seniors, but anyone from 18 to 86 and beyond,” said Martinez, a Community Outreach Liaison-Latino Affairs as she addressed the attendees at the Downers Grove Expo.
Martinez said that fraud has become more common than you’d like to believe and data breaches are a big reason for the increase. Since 2005, there have been 4,000 data breaches affecting over 857 million records and, for the most part, businesses don’t alert the consumers until the public is alerted to it. A bill has been passed and will be active in January of 2017 in Illinois that would force businesses to acknowledge they have been breached.
Seniors, though, are a big target for scammers because they have time and money. Scammers target and exploit older citizens in a number of different ways: online, by phone, in person and by mail.
One of the biggest scams currently is the IRS Scam on the phone. Victims are told they owe the IRS money and they must pay immediately through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. Victims are threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of driver’s or business licenses. If victims say no or question the scammers, the scammers may become hostile and insulting. If you get a call like this, JUST HANG UP!
Some tricks the scammers use include using a fake name or IRS badge number, knowing the last four digits of your Social Security number, spoofing a fake IRS toll-free number on caller ID, sending phony IRS letters by mail or email in an attempt to make you believe the fake call. The scammers also call back and pretend to be from the local police, FBI or Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to convince you that the call is legitimate.
The one thing to remember is the IRS would never contact you by phone. They would send a certified letter in the mail. One other scam perpetrated against seniors is the Grandparents Scam. Scam Artists claiming to be attorneys, paralegals and law enforcement officers frantically call saying that a grandchild is in trouble and requesting the grandparent immediately wire money or send a prepaid debit card. Click here to find out about other scams you need to be aware of.
The best way to avoid telephone scams is also the easiest, JUST HANG UP! The following are some common warnings of telephone scams. If you spot any of these signs while on the phone, don’t think twice: JUST HANG UP!
• They contact you • They want your personal information • They promise a big reward • You must pay then first. It is illegal for someone to require an upfront payment to claim a lottery or sweepstakes prize.
One way to prevent most unwanted calls is to register your phone on the National Do Not Call Registry. You can register your home phone or cell phone online at www.donotcall.gov or by calling 1.888.382.1222 from the phone number you wish to register.
You can get plenty of information by clicking here to go to the Attorney General’s website.
Author:Jon Wise Phone: 312-287-8362 Dated: June 8th 2017 Views: 210 About Jon: Jon P. Wise believes customer service is a priority in building a successful business. He strives to...
View our latest blog posts in your RSS reader. Click here to access.
EXIT Real Estate Partners was founded in September of 2007 when we recognized the benefits of EXIT Real Estate Corp. International.
EXIT Real Estate Partners is a full service Real Estate Company dedicated to quality service for their clients' needs. This website is provided to assist you in becoming a better informed buyer and seller of Real Estate. If you have any further questions, please feel free to call our office or contact us by email, we will get back to you promptly!
"As a first time home buyer, working with Lynn Galik made the process an easy one. Not only was she patient in replying to my (many) questions, she was extremely prompt as well. Lynn's approach was easy, laid-back and no pressure. When I decided on an area I wanted to buy in, Lynn immediately found listings for us to visit the same day. Within two weeks, I was able to put an offer on a condo that I could afford and that met my extensive list of requirements. Lynn listened to my needs, provided feedback, and I am confident that she had my best interest in mind. She was honest with me on whether a property was over-priced, would be good for resale, and if it was safe. Lynn was incredibly helpful when it came to making an offer and explaining to me all the costs, fees, and procedures included if the sellers were to accept. She removed any fears or doubts I had and even relieved me of some of the closing costs. Lynn was quick to respond to e-mails, texts, and phone calls. She was willing to schedule appointments and showings around my busy work schedule. She gave great recommendations for lenders, home inspectors, and lawyers. So great, in fact, that my parents are refinancing their house (that Lynn sold them 8 years ago!) with the lender that Lynn recommended to me. If it weren't for Lynn's reassuring attitude, I am confident that I would not be sitting here in the comfort of my new home writing this recommendation. Buying a home for the first time is a daunting experience, I would recommend Lynn in a heartbeat to help soften any concerns. This was such an important decision for me, and she was completely empathetic to all of my questions and concerns. She was genuinely excited for me to purchase my first home and I can't thank her enough! Lynn....you are awesome!