Tips to keep seniors safe from scams – San Diego Downtown News

District Attorney News
By Summer Stephan

Every year in San Diego County, senior citizens are scammed out of millions of dollars by bad actors who prey on vulnerability and the trusting nature of our elders.

No one is immune. The victims are retired military, former educators, healthcare professionals, and even retired members of law enforcement. They are our parents, grandparents, neighbors, and friends.

Although the most common scam targeting elder San Diegans is the grandparent scam, which convinces elders their grandchildren are in peril in some foreign jail and need bail money, I’d like to provide an array of tips that will help our loved ones from becoming the next victim.

Shame often prevents a senior citizen from reporting they have been a victim and we want to stop that mindset in its tracks.

Don’t answer unknown calls

Scammers use fake phone numbers to make it appear as if the call is local. If you don’t know the phone number calling, don’t answer. If the call is important, they will leave a voicemail and you can return the call if you determine it is safe.

Government agencies or utility companies do not call with threats of fines or jail

If you receive a call demanding payment from someone claiming to be from Social Security, law enforcement, the court or the utility company, hang up. This is a common scam in which fraudsters will try to convince you to pay or risk fines or jail time.

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