US Attorney Young Draws Attention to Senior Citizen Scams and Available Government Resources | USAO-NH

CONCORD – As part of a nationwide effort to bring attention to seniors scams, US Attorney Jane E. Young issued the following statement today: “It is paramount that we protect our seniors scams aimed at stealing their hard-earned assets. A critical tool in the fight against scammers is education and available resources that our older adults can access when asked to send money or provide personal information by phone or email. Scams to profit and exploit our seniors can take many forms, but they share a common theme: separating seniors from the money and property they have worked their whole lives to obtain,” said U.S. Attorney Young. Some of the most popular patterns are:

  • Social Security Administration Imposters – Imposters contact potential victims by phone and falsely claim that the victim’s social security number has been suspended due to suspicious activity or because they have been involved in a crime. They ask to confirm the victim’s social security number, or they may say they need to take money out of the victim’s bank and store it on gift cards or other unusual ways to “keep it safe.” “. Victims can be informed that their accounts will be seized or frozen if they do not act quickly.
  • Romance scams—Imposters use dating sites, social networking sites, and chat rooms to target unsuspecting seniors. They create fake profiles to build relationships online and end up convincing people to send money in the name of love. Some even make wedding plans before disappearing with the money. An online lover asking for money is almost certainly a scammer. Romance scams operating from overseas often use US-based financial mules to collect payments from victims and pass the proceeds to perpetrators. Sometimes perpetrators of romance scams convince victims to serve as financial mules, receiving illegal proceeds of crime and passing those proceeds on to the perpetrators. For example, Romance Scam victims are often tricked into receiving payments and/or goods such as technological equipment obtained through fraud and passing those payments and goods directly or indirectly to the perpetrators.
  • Tech Support Scams—Scammers make phone calls and pretend to be computer technicians associated with a well-known company or they can use pop-up messages on the Internet to warn of non-existent computer problems. Scammers claim to have detected viruses, other malware, or hacking attempts on the victim’s computer. They pose as “tech support” and ask the victim to give them remote access to their computer. Eventually, they diagnose a non-existent problem and ask the victim to pay large sums of money for unnecessary or even harmful services. Tech support scams operating from overseas often use US-based financial mules (including seemingly legitimate US-registered companies) to collect payments from victims and pass the profits on to perpetrators.
  • Lottery scams—Fraudulent telemarketers based in foreign countries call people in the United States to tell them they’ve won a foreign sweepstakes or lottery. Fraudulent telemarketers typically identify themselves as lawyers, customs officers, or lottery representatives and tell people they’ve won vacations, cars, or thousands or even millions of dollars. “Winners” only have to pay shipping, insurance, customs duties or taxes before they can claim their prizes. Victims pay hundreds or thousands of dollars and receive nothing in return, and are often re-victimized until they run out of money. Lottery scams operating from overseas often use US-based mules to collect payments from victims and pass the proceeds to perpetrators.
  • IRS Imposter Scams—The scammers aggressively target taxpayers, pretending to be IRS employees, but are not. They are using fake names and fake IRS ID badge numbers. Victims are told that they owe money to the IRS and should be paid promptly by wire transfer or stored-value card such as a gift card. Victims who refuse to cooperate are threatened with arrest, deportation, or suspension of driver’s or business licenses. IRS Imposter scams operating from overseas often use US-based mules to receive payments from victims and pass proceeds to perpetrators.

Consumer reports of fraud and attempted fraud are critical to law enforcement efforts to investigate and prosecute schemes targeting seniors. If you or someone you know is aged 60 or over and has been the victim of financial fraud, you can get help through the National Senior Fraud Hotline: 1- 866 FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311). This Department of Justice hotline, operated by the Office for Victims of Crime, is staffed by experienced professionals who provide personalized support to callers by assessing the victim’s needs and identifying next steps. Case managers will identify appropriate reporting agencies, provide information to callers to help them report or connect them with agencies, and provide resources and referrals on a case-by-case basis. The hotline is open seven days a week from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET. English, Spanish and other languages ​​are available. More information about the department’s elder justice efforts is available on the Department of Elder Justice’s website, www.elderjustice.gov.

For more information on today’s national announcement regarding the Department’s efforts to combat elder fraud, visit www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-expands-transnational -elder-fraud-strike-force-protect-older-americans.

Comments are closed.