NEW YORK (PIX11) — Fraudulent phone calls are sadly all too familiar. It is a growing problem that often targets the elderly population; On Thursday, organizers met with seniors from Lynbrook Restorative Therapy and Nursing to introduce a new program aimed at preventing them from becoming victims of fraud.
For Kathleen Lavin, receiving fraudulent calls has become frequent. She said sometimes it’s obvious. Other times, it’s not always so clear.
“A few weeks ago I got a call from the New York State Police saying they were having a drive to get guns off the street,” she told PIX11News.
After agreeing to pay $30 a month, Lavin began giving the caller his personal information. The caller asked for his social security number, which raised a red flag. Luckily, Lavin avoided getting scammed.
But this is not always the case for the elderly population. Financial abuse of older adults in the United States has increased by approximately 10% over the past two years, from 7.86 million to 8.68 million cases per year.
Lisa Penziner is Director of Special Projects at Lynbrook Restorative. She said after seeing seniors being scammed, she decided to do something about it.
Penziner is on a mission to provide them with tips and advice on how to stay safe.
These tips include:
- Know that you are threatened by strangers
- Don’t isolate yourself — stay involved and ask questions
- If something’s wrong, it probably isn’t.
- Tell the lawyers, “I never buy anything or give anyone who comes unannounced. Send me something in writing.
- Subscribe to the do not call list. and learn how to report suspicious emails and text messages
- Never give out your credit card, banking, social security or other information over the phone unless you are sure the call is legitimate
- Beware of things that seem too good to be true
- Stay in touch with your loved ones
- Use direct deposit for benefit checks to prevent checks from being stolen from the mailbox
- Don’t open the door to strangers
Penziner also said the key to avoiding senior citizen fraud is getting rid of personal documents. She therefore organized a drive-by to encourage seniors to do so. To find out where the mobile shredders are heading next, visit Lynbrook Restorative.
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