March 13, 2019

Preventing Elder Fraud: How to Spot Scams

Stories of elderly men and women who have been solicited or scammed are unfortunately quite common: an estimated $37 billion is lost annually to elder fraud.

To avoid persistent and aggressive scammers and their attempts to get personal or financial information, use the following methods:

  • Sign up for the Federal Do Not Call list, and avoid answering calls from unknown numbers.
  • Prepare a refusal script: a short, rehearsed statement that can be used to respond to any unwanted solicitation.
  • Read the Consumer Guide to Scams. This guide describes common scams and provides tips on how to spot them so that you can protect yourself and your personal information.
  • Never provide your private or financial information, such as your Social Security number, bank account, or birth date to an unsolicited contact.
  • Never send a check or wire money to anyone who contacts you via telephone, email, or mail if you do not know them personally.

For more information, contact the Office of Consumer and Business Regulation by calling their Consumer Hotline at 617-973-8787.

If you or a family member have been a victim of solicitation or scamming and are seeking legal advice or representation, you can call the Boston Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service at 617-742-0625, connect with an area online 24/7 by clicking “Get Started” here, or by submitting an email request online today. Our intake staff will help you determine if a referral to a lawyer is necessary, or if it’s possible to get assistance through a government office or elder affairs program.