scammers still thriving

The Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services wants you to know that scammers and con artists are alive and thriving, and the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to hang up the phone when you think you’ve been called by one. Don’t worry about being rude–protect yourself!

If you suspect you’ve received a fraudulent call, contact the Department of Consumer Protection immediately at 914-995-2167.
Some of the scams to look out for in Westchester include:

The Medical Alert Scam: Scammers tell seniors they have been “approved” for medical alert equipment at no charge. They identify their business as “Senior Medical Alert” or “Senior Medical Advisors.” The con artists will then ask the seniors for their credit card numbers and use it to bill them every month for “monitoring services” they never receive. They also use scare tactics, warning that if you delay, the result may be death or serious life-threatening injuries.

The Pigeon Drop: The scammer says he/she has found a large sum of money and is willing to share it if the senior makes a “good faith,” payment—ultimately enabling allowing the con artist to access the victim’s bank account. Often, a second scammer, posing as a lawyer, banker, or other “trustworthy” stranger is involved.

Medicare Fraud: With this type of scam, perpetrators pose as Medicare representatives and trick seniors into providing personal information to them. They can then use this information to perpetrate identity theft and to also bill Medicare for services that were never provided.

The Grandchild Scam: The con artist poses as a grandchild (or relative) and gets the victim to wire or send money on the pretext that the grandchild is in jail or in the hospital and needs the money.

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