Alabama’s elderly consumers need to be aware that they, like others, are being targeted by identity thieves. We recently ran across this newspaper article headlined “Senior Citizens Often Targeted by Identity Theft Scams” by reporter Rebecca Blanton reminding us of this fact.
Maj. Gary Goodson of the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office reminds us in the article, “If you haven’t solicited someone for information and you’ve received something anonymously or unsolicited, then 99 percent of the time it’s going to be a scam or a fraud. If you have to pay anything to get something free, it’s definitely going to be a scam.”
Be on the look out for people pretending to be from your bank or from some government entity wanting to either confirm your information or stating that there is a problem with your account or your information and that they need you to provide information in order to protect yourself or correct the problem.
If you receive a call along these lines, do not give out any personal information. If you are concerned and want to make sure there isn’t a problem with your account or information, hang up the phone and then call back whatever entity was supposedly calling you. Do call the number the caller gives you, but look the number up in the phone book or through directory assistance.
The FBI agents stated in the article that they weren’t surprised to hear about calls targeting the elderly, who can be particularly vulnerable. The article noted, ‘they say it’s been their experience the elderly are targeted for several reasons. Most are likely to own their own home and have good credit. People raised in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s were raised to be polite and trusting. Con men exploit these traits.”
If, however, you find yourself the victim of identity theft, you need to take steps to protect yourself. Visit our website for more information about how to protect yourself if you have been the victim of identity theft.
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