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Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty, through the courts.

November 30, 2011

Senior Citizens Warned of Common Scams and Reminded to Report Elder Abuse

This time of the year, many seniors are particularly vulnerable to “Elder Abuse” and scam artists who prey on our senior citizens.  Citizens are encouraged to report Elder Abuse immediately. 

If you or someone you know has been the victim of Elder Abuse please call the San Diego Police Department at             619-531-2000      . If you suspectthat you or someone you know has been the victim of Elder Abuse please call Aging and Independent Services for the County of San Diego at      800-510-2020    (Free Call) 
The following examples from the San Diego Police Department highlight scams regularly perpetrated against Senior Citizens.  You are encouraged to share examples with all the senior citizens you know.
The Grand Parent Scam
There are several versions of the “Grand Parent” scam.  In the most common version the victim will receive a call from an unknown person who will immediately say “Grandma” or “Grandpa” after the victim answers the phone. The victim will reply, “Johnny” or Janie” (the name of their grandson or granddaughter).  The caller will reply, “Yes it’s your Grandson Johnny.”  The caller will explain they are in trouble while visiting another country.  The most common countries are Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, and Spain.  The caller will claim to have been arrested and/or in jail, involved in a vehicle accident or experiencing a medical emergency and they need money wired to them urgently.  The caller will ask the victim not to contact other family members because they are embarrassed.  The caller will ask for the money to be wired in the name of an unknown third-party.  The amount to be wired can vary from $500.00 to $50,000.00.  The largest amount wired from San Diego to China was $130,000.00.  The caller said he needed emergency surgery. The hospital would not perform the procedure without a “bond” to cover the expense since the imposter did not have medical insurance in China.
What can I do?
The victims in these scams have all sworn the caller sounded just like their loved one.  The first thing you should do after receiving such a call is make a telephone call to a “good” phone number you have for your grandson or granddaughter.  If you cannot reach them call your grandson or granddaughter’s parents to confirm they are indeed out of the country before you wire any money.  Because;
Once the money has been wired and received, the money is gone!



The “International Lottery” Scam
Another common telephone scam is the “International Lottery” scam.  The caller will inform the victim they have won a substantial amount of money from the lottery of Jamaica or Canada.  The victim will be instructed to wire money to cover the “taxes” associated with the prize.  The amount can range from $1,500.00 to $15,000.00. Usually the prize is worth anywhere from one to four million dollars.  If money is sent, the victim will begin receiving multiple calls asking for more money to be sent to cover additional taxes, fees, and/or insurance.  In reality, the victim has not won any prize and will never see any of their “winnings”.  And just as the “grandparent” scam; 
Once the money is wired and received, it’s gone!
What can I do?
Before you send any money remember this, “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.”  Also, did you know it is against federal law to participate in an international lottery?  The reason, the Federal Trade Commission says most foreign lotteries are likely to be scams and U.S. citizens send an estimated $120 million a year to foreign countries on the prospect of obtaining instant wealth.  Scammers have turned to the telephone because federal law enforcement officials intercept and destroy millions of foreign lottery mailings every year.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of Elder Abuse please call the San Diego Police Department:             619-531-2000      .
If you suspect that you or someone you know has been the victim of Elder Abuse please call Aging and Independent Services for the County of San Diego:                    

            800-510-2020  



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Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty.

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