Faulty gym memberships and various phone and mail scams targeting older residents are on the radar of local law enforcement officials as predators have increased their efforts.
The Journal-News talked with local officials about what to watch for to protect yourself and older relatives for a recent report.
» FULL REPORT: Scammers target lonely, concerned older residents early in the year
In particular, authorities said, scammers target those who are lonely or would respond to concern about relatives in trouble to extract funds from them.
According to the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office and Law For Seniors, here are the top 10 scams that target older residents in the region:
1. The IRS Impersonation scam
2. Sweepstakes Scams
3. Robocalls / Unwanted phone calls
4. Computer Tech Support Schemes
5. Identity Theft
6. Grandparent Scams
7. Elder Financial Abuse
8. Grant Schemes
9. Romance Scams
10. Home Improvement Scams
» MORE TO WATCH FOR: 5 things to know about new ID scams
Here are tips for consumers to avoid tax-related phone scams include:
• Don’t trust threatening callers. If you receive an unexpected phone call from someone who threatens to arrest you for not paying taxes, it’s almost certainly a scam. Also, don’t trust someone who demands that you pay immediately via wire transfer or prepaid card. These are preferred payment methods for scam artists.
• Don’t respond to illegal robocalls in any way. Don’t interact with the caller, and don’t call a number left on your phone or in a message. Responding to a scam call can result in even more calls because it lets con artists know that your phone number belongs to a real person.
• Look into call-blocking options. Check with your phone carrier and third-party services to determine whether call-blocking services could help you stop unwanted calls.
U.S. Treasury or IRS impersonation scams can be reported to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at www.treasury.gov/tigta or 800-366-4484.