[R76] Rep. McNamara: Telephone scams target senior citizens (8/14/2012 - 8/15/2012)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Start Date: 8/14/2012 Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 8/15/2012 End Time: 11:59 PM

Telephone scams target senior citizens

According to Congressional statistics, people lose an estimated $4 billion in mail scams and $40 billion in telemarketing fraud each year in the United States, and Indiana is not exempt from these cons. I have been fielding some calls recently from concerned constituents about a telephone scam targeting senior citizens in our community. Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon for older consumers to be targeted by fraudulent telemarketers, so it is very important to be aware of a potential con and know how to protect your sensitive information.

A fake Microsoft telephone scam is the most recent attempt made by fraudulent telemarketers to try and deceive Hoosiers. Con artists posing as customer representatives from Microsoft are calling senior citizens to warn them that they have downloaded malicious software and need to clean their computer. After the phony representative gains critical access to a computer, they steal information and cause further damage.

There are a lot of other scams out there, all trying to take your hard-earned money. Frequently, internet scams will entice computer users by offering “free” gifts, prizes or vacations as a condition to buy their “product.” It might even be the “investment of a lifetime,” but only if you act right away.  It usually sounds too good to be true—and it almost always is.  Victims can lose everything from a few dollars to their life savings because of these scams.

It is because of these situations that the Attorney General has created multiple tools online at www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/ to alert Hoosiers of potential dangers. The ID Theft Prevention Toolkit was created to assist victims with correcting their records following a scam and to help consumers in taking the necessary steps to minimize the risk of identity theft. The toolkit also allows Hoosiers to easily keep an accurate inventory of financial information, so creditors can be contacted quickly if any information is ever lost or stolen. This is a great, preventative tool that will hopefully limit the number of Hoosiers who will become victims of fraud.  

The House Republicans have also written a publication for senior citizens addressing telephone and internet scams, identity theft and other related information that can be viewed here. I strongly encourage members of our community to review these links to be safeguarded from criminals. 

As always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact me by phone at (317) 232­-9671 or via email at h76@in.gov.


Guest column is published in the Posey County News.