Seniors become targets for scams around holidays

MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH)– The warning is out, and scammers are ready to take advantage of your holiday spirit and attempt to bilk you or your elderly relatives. It’s the season for giving. Just make sure you know where your money is really going.

The lunch crowd at the senior citizen center in Meriden know all about how scam artists target them around this holiday season, because many of them have been targets in recent weeks.

Like 74-year-old Geraldine Fleming.

“They had called me and told me they wanted to get in touch with my granddaughter because she cashed a check from the IRS, which she never got a check. They said they were the IRS,” Fleming said.

Trying to frighten seniors into sending money or giving a credit card number has become rampant. Adds Fleming, “They wanted her to send a check back to them but she never received a check, they told her that if they didn’t receive the check that they were coming to get her to take her to jail.”

There’s also medical scams like the one they tried on 86-year-old Nick and 82-year-old Barbara Buonanni,

“He said the doctor ordered it, so then he says, ‘What’s your social security number?,” Nick explained.

“So I said, ‘Can I have your phone number?’ He started to give me a number, so I looked on my caller ID, and it was a different number. I said, ‘You know what?’ This has got to be a scam.”

Barbara, Nick and Geraldine were hit with two of the more prevalent scams that target senior citizens and this time of year. Impostor charities prey on the holiday spirit of giving.

Senator Dick Blumenthal, who has never lost his enthusiasm for consumer issues, is visiting senior centers, warning about the all these phone scams but especially the holiday impostor charities. “Ask for information in writing, ask them to give it to you in the mail so that you know what you are doing with your hard-earned dollars.”

For more info on the latest scams, visit www.consumerfinance.gov.

 

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