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home : opinions : editorials February 05, 2016

8/2/2013 6:02:00 AM
Editorial: Scams of elderly affect all of us
The Daily Courier

A regular item in the pages of the Courier is news about people, most often elderly, falling victim to some type of scam, fraud or abuse.

While some readers say "that will never happen to me" and others think it is not their problem, frankly if it happens to one among us the problems persist for all.

Problems? Yes, plural. Not only does the victim lose time, money, and a great degree of their self-esteem - they usually are embarrassed to admit they "got taken" - consider as well the victim is someone's mother, father, relative of some sort, or your neighbor.

Most recently, an 82-year-old Prescott man paid money to not one, two or three scams - but four alleged frauds over a weeklong period in mid-July, according to a police report.

The victim told Prescott police he was contacted four separate times over a single week by individuals who claimed to work for American Sweepstakes. He paid out a total of $6,050 to get about $3 million "promised" to him.

The money never came.

The scams centered on phone calls the man received. Investigators called one of the numbers for American Sweepstakes and was hung up on when the officer identified himself. The area code for the number, according to Prescott police, was a location in Jamaica.

We all wish such a windfall would be true, but when something is too good to be true - well, it is.

This is where we, as a community, need to be mindful and help our elders and neighbors to avoid these rip-offs.

Plus, remember one of the tried and true ways to avoid these problems: Never give personal information to a caller. If the caller is above board, they will not balk at being checked out or called back either.

Society beware, we're all in this.

Related Stories:
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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2013
Article comment by: Pistol Pete

The biggest scam is our present administration. Case closed.

Posted: Friday, August 02, 2013
Article comment by: Sister Abuse

I usually hang up, once I realize that it's cold call solicitation. I have no way of knowing that this or that charity or give to some cause is legit. So, problem solved. Hang up. If it is something I wish to make a contribution or some offering, I independently contact them at the listed number, not the call ID number.

The only ones that come to the door are the religious folk. Mormons have name tags, short sieve white shirts and a tie, Jehovah's have their easily identifiable tracts and invitations.

The only time there was a problem was a guy with a spray bottle whose story was he was selling the product. It looked to me that if I opened the door, I would be sprayed in the eyes in the forcible entry. I went around and caught him positioning and practicing his entry before he realized I was behind him. I gave him my best Clint Eastwood, and having lost his element of surprise, he he ran to a running car down the street and jumped in the open back door. I did not see the driver. He could not have prevailed over the judo brown belt. I'm much older and out of practice, and more aware of my surounding.

So, look out for that spray bottle.

Posted: Friday, August 02, 2013
Article comment by: Ghost Past

The government is incapable of shutting down the boiler room operations that scam people every day and ignore the Federal do not call list. But they can spend 35 million for a building in Afghanistan that was never used. Fire Congress now. All of them.

Posted: Friday, August 02, 2013
Article comment by: the wino

When a family member abuses the(power of attorney) and mis-spends a elderly parents retirement $$. especially $$ used for there health care.

Posted: Friday, August 02, 2013
Article comment by: Tongue-in-Cheek .

An even greater more devastating, blatant scam that appears to be perfectly legal is OUR POLITICIANS at all levels, especially the top levels. They lie profusely and appear to enjoy taking OUR money. The politicians prey on the elderly, poor and the bone brains in society. Every citizen must constantly be aware and unfortunately live under the credo that everything is a lie until proven otherwise. Sad but true.

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