"Fallen Officers Fund" Scam: We've been notified that there is someone calling residents soliciting monies for a Fallen Officers Fund. There is no such legitimate organization. These lecherous people are pulling on the heartstrings of the community in order to line their pockets.
They have been calling from 413-239-2393 and trying to use recent tragedies to get rich. If you truly wish to donate to such a cause, call your local Police Department for the names of legitimate organizations.
National Grid warns customers of billing scam. Download notice.
“Pension Advances” to Borrow Cash: Using Pensions to Borrow Cash BUT Interest Rates to Borrowers Range Up to 106% (!)
"These types of transactions, called pension advances, are becoming more popular as retirees living on fixed incomes seek new ways to generate cash to make ends meet. Authorities told the Times that these advances are actually carefully disguised loans that require borrowers to sign over all or part of their monthly pension payout. They're offered by companies that operate mostly outside of federal and state banking regulations." The following AARP article also contains a link to the original NYT publication. Article
Courtesy Emmett Schmarsow, Elder Affairs, 5/3/13
“Free Medical Alarm”: It appears that a phone offer for a “free medical alarm paid for by her friends and family” should be declined ASAP. The “agency” number is 662.304.3858. When the COA director called that number and announced herself and her concern, they hung up.
Information courtesy of Jan Timmons and Rita Wahlstedt at the Sandwich COA. 5/3/13
Mortgage Audit Letter or Calls from ACT
Country Bank: Residents are receiving telephone calls saying that their Country Bank accounts have been locked and to unlock their account they have to key in their information. Country Bank has not been calling anyone and they would not call anyone asking for this information.
Foundation® - Chain Letter Scam
Golden Grant Scam: Such grants ("government grants" a/k/a "free money") are available through the following scheme:
- The elder calls a toll-free number (888-558-8881) and an operator
explains the process and then asks for the caller's telephone number.
- The elder is then called back by someone (a confederate or associate
or co-illusionist -- pick your favorite term) who will then obtain
the elder's credit card number. The one-time charge is $340 or maybe
more or maybe less. But once they have your credit card number....!!!!
- The promise is that elders will receive assistance in applying for ("free") federal grants from a variety of sources.
- The basic scams are outlined at www.scammer-alert.com/govt-grants.html
Other Scams Against the Elderly:
Ongoing scam aimed at grandparents and involving requests of money to get their grandchildren out of jail. Download the Scam Alert.
An elderly man's son was told his father had been
swindled out of a large amount of Social Security money. The caller
told the son, if he cooperated with her, he could recover a portion
of the lost money. An 800 number was given to the man. When he later
tried to call the number, it was found disconnected.
Another elder reported she had been questioned by
a female caller about fraudulent activities on either her bank or
credit cards. The caller identified charges against the accounts,
but said she was unsure of which accounts they were made to. The caller
asked the woman to verify her account information over the phone.
The caller also told the woman a lawyer was working on the case and
the charges could be fixed for a fee.
Another common scam involves telling residents they
have won, or can win, prizes if they purchase magazines.
According to the attorney general's office, it is
"never, ever" necessary to purchase anything to enter a legitimate
sweepstakes. The attorney general's site also warns consumers not
to be swayed by celebrities, stating: "They are paid good money to
promote the sweepstakes and their participation does not enhance your
chance of winning anything."
Seniors should also be wary of another scam that strikes
almost every year, usually in the spring and summer. It involves two
or more men who arrive outside your home in a truck claiming to be
from the water department. The men tell residents they need to read
a meter in the cellar. While the resident is kept busy by one, the
other steals items or cases the home for a possible robbery.
The attorney general's office also gives tips for
protecting yourself against other scams:
Never give out personal information, such as numbers
for credit cards, bank accounts or your Social Security number unless
you are familiar with the company you are dealing with and you initiated
Be wary of anyone who knocks on your door and offers
home improvement services. If you choose to have work done on your
home, contact the attorney general's office and use its "Consumer
Guide to Home Improvement Contracting" to find a legitimate contractor.
If you decide to donate to a charity, ask for something
in writing for you to review. If they are legitimate, "chances are
they have written materials for this purpose."
If you have further questions or concerns about a charity,
sweepstakes or possible scam, you can call the MA
Attorney General's Office or the AG's Elder Affairs line at (888)
AG-Elder (243-5337). You may also contact the Executive Office of Elder
Affairs at 617-727-7750 or visit the Executive Office of Elder Affairs
website at www.mass.gov/elders.