Speaking to Cardington Seniors during their monthly meeting Aug. 24 was Chris Wolford, new activity coordinator at the center, who described activities he has planned for September for seniors.
He introduced Katie Harper, Consumer Protection Specialist from the Attorney General’s office. She gave a program on scams and frauds likely to be attempted on Seniors.
She noted that seniors are targeted because they are more trusting, may have money available, are often isolated and are less likely to report fraud.
Common themes that are red flags include: (1) request for payment with a pre-paid card. Victim tells scammer the number on back of card and value of card is easily transferred to account they can get cash from (2) request for personal information; (3) pressure to act immediately and (4) victim told to “keep it quiet.”
Forty incidents of grandparents scams have been reported in Ohio last year. The caller poses as grandchild in n eed of money for a crisis. Several in the audience had received calls trying to initiate the scam. Asking questions that only the real grandchild would know is best way to evaluate if this is legitimate.
Seniors are often told they have won a sweepstakes from another country and a fee and taxes are needed before they receive prize money. They often forget they must enter sweepstakes to win. Also, you cannot win a prize in sweepstakes from a foreign country.
Harper gave a warning to not click on ‘pop ups’ on computer. This can lock the computer and the victim is told they must pay to unlock it.
Another free computer scams is that the caller has identified a virus that they can correct by letting them take control of your computer. A virus cannot be detected remotely
A recent created scam deals wtih the switching of all Medicare numbers so they no longer are you social security number. Scammers have been notifying seniors that they should send back their old cards thus giving them their social security numbers. They are also notifying seniors they can expedite getting new cards by sending $25 -also a scam.
The speaker gave several handouts including a booklet “Elder Fraud,” that gave details about money scams and frauds.
Seniors were advised to call Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office about obtaining information and to report any scams and frauds – 1-800-282-0515 or www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov,
The next meeting of the seniors will be held Friday, Sept. 28, at noon at the Seniors Center. The menu will be Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes Cookies will be provided by Linda Gordon and Phyllis Jiles. Reservations or cancellations should be made by noon on Sept. 27. Call 419-946-4191.