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Scams often target seniors

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Every month, we field numerous inquiries from citizens about frauds, most of which target our senior population. To help educate our community there are several tips we want to point out about frauds. For starters, the IRS or other government entities, will never call your house asking for your social security number or threatening that, if you do not give them that information, they will have local law enforcement come arrest you. Think about this. You have paid taxes for years. Each year you file a tax return that contains a lot of personal information. Those documents go to the IRS. Why would they call you asking for your personal information when they already have it on file?

A common fraud is one where you receive a phone call that, if you send some money to the caller, they will send you money or give you something of value. Sound too good to be true? That is because it is an attempt to defraud you of your money and potentially your life savings. Unless you personally know the person on the phone, never agree to send money and never give your bank account information over the phone. Once the scammer gets your bank account information off a check or after you divulge your account information, the scammer withdraws all your money.

According to the FBI, seniors are at a high risk of frauds for products that might increase cognitive function, virility, physical conditioning and anti-cancer properties. Telemarketing scams often involve offers of free prizes, low-cost vitamins and health care products and inexpensive vacations. Do not fall victim to these frauds.

The scam artist will try to get you to divulge information about your lifestyle, family, where you live and then eventually convince you to divulge your banking information.

If you are a senior reading this, please heed our advice not to give out your private information. Scams by phone or mail asking for money or your identity before you can get money are scams. Personians have a heart for their fellow man. Educate your elderly family members. For information about common scams, you can visit the FBI’s website at: https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common- fraud-schemes or call local law enforcement.

Have a blessed weekend.

Editor’s note: Roxboro Chief of Police David Hess and The Courier-Times have partnered together to print a monthly Chief’s column. The Chief’s column will be printed in The Courier-Times the first Saturday of each month.

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