SSF: Telephone scams targeting seniors on the rise

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO (BCN)

Police in South San Francisco warned of a rise in fraudulent telephone scams that target seniors.

On Tuesday, police said a South San Francisco woman received a telephone call from a person claiming to be a paralegal from the Attorney General’s office. The suspect told the victim that there was a warrant for her arrest and she needed to pay a fee by using a Vanilla prepaid cash card, or risk being sent to jail.

The only description the victim gave police was that the suspect had a “Russian” accent.

Financial fraud is the fastest growing form of elder abuse, according to police. Police said elder financial abuse is tough to combat because it often goes unreported. Many elderly victims are often confused, fearful, or embarrassed by the crime and fail to report it.

Prevalent types of scams include those that tell victims they are lottery or sweepstakes winners, offer to make home or utility repairs, report found cash, request credit card number verification, bank examiner scams, grandparent scams, and IRS agent scams.

Police urged seniors to protect themselves from financial fraud by becoming familiar with these common scams and to report suspicious calls authorities.

The California Department of Justice, in cooperation with AARP, has published a booklet, “A Citizen’s Guide to Preventing and Reporting Elder Abuse,” which provides hints on how to detect signs of physical, emotional and financial elder abuse.

To report a fraudulent telephone scam, contact the South San Francisco police at (650) 877-8900 or the Anonymous TIP Line at (650) 952-2244.

(Copyright 2014 Bay City News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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