Are you a target for fraud?

No question about it. Some age 55-plus Americans have the most financial savvy of any group. But some that age and older are targeted for various types of fraud.

They have income, savings, are open to “good deals” offered by scammers, and surprisingly, if they turn out to be victims, 75 percent of them are too embarrassed to report it.

Frauds are easier to report since the Senate Special Committee on Aging launched a Fraud Hotline to help deal with the “epidemic” of frauds and scams recently targeting older Americans.

You can call the hotline at 1-855-303-9470 or visit the website at:

Frauds include lottery scams where “winners” pay large upfront fees to collect; computer scams where people are tricked into believing they have malware and charged a lot to “fix”; and tax-refund schemes which may include identity theft.

In the grandparent phone scam, the caller says he’s a grandchild in need of big money for a health problem.

Then there are Social Security scams, and Medicare fraud where victims are convinced they owe money for care or procedures they never had.

Hotline personnel provide consumers with advice on the steps that can be taken, including where to report the fraud locally, and ways to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim a second time.

Utilizing Social Media like Facebook and Twitter are great ways to help raise awareness of these scams, and to protect others against fraud.

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