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Scams targeting seniors

Scams targeting seniors

By Karen Stiles. CREATED Mar 2, 2013

MILWAUKEE - Here is a heads up for seniors: Watch out for a number of phone scams that have been targeting your generation.

Some of these scams include callers posing as:

- Someone from your bank or a government agency like social security or medicare who ask you to provide or verify personal information.

- A grandchild, who claims to be stranded and needs you to wire money, but wants you to keep their predicament a secret.

- A helpful person that claims they can help you to get special equipment or security devices for little or no money.

- A con artist who tries to trick you into believing that you have won a sweepstakes or lottery.

As a rule of thumb, never release personal information without first contacting a local source like your bank or local government office that can verify if a request is legitimate.

Even if the caller sounds like a desperate grandchild, contact another family member first to check things out.

If you believe that someone you know could be vulnerable to one of these scams, it may be a good idea to take measures to protect them such as encouraging the use of an answering machine to screen calls and checking over unusual bills, medicare statements, and bank statements for suspicious activity.

If you or someone you know has fallen victim to a scam, take action immediately by alerting authorities and having fraud alerts placed on accounts.

Your quick action could help you and others from getting taken in the future.