Police offer kit to help protect seniors against scams

NORTH BRUNSWICK – The North Brunswick Police Department is re-issuing the “Anti-Fraud Toolkit,” an online packet of information to keep people safe from scams and fraudulent activity.

Designed by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, the kit provides residents with the information needed if confronted with a potential scam, according to a posting on the department’s Facebook page.

It especially applies to senior citizens who are targeted more frequently by financial fraud and scams than any other age group, according to police. Members of their generation are most likely to have a substantial “nest egg,” own their homes, or have excellent credit. Moreover, seniors are less likely to report a fraud, either because they don’t know who to report it to, are too ashamed at having been scammed, or don’t know they have been victimized.

But one of the biggest reasons seniors fall prey to fraudsters is that they are simply less likely to be aware of the latest scams making their way across the nation and around the state, the post continued.

The “Anti-Fraud Toolkit” consists of the following documents:

• “Ten Red Flags That It Might Be a Scam.” A simple list of red flags for seniors to watch out for when they are solicited in person, by phone call, by mail or through the internet.

• “Common Computer Scams” and “Tips to Avoid Computer Scams.” Descriptions of scams using computers, email or related technology that targets seniors, and tips on how to avoid such scams.

• “Common Door-to-Door Scams” and “Tips to Avoid Door-to-Door Scams.”
Descriptions of scams arising from door-to-door solicitations, including charities scams and contracting scams, and tips on how to avoid such scams.

• “Common Mail Scams” and “Tips to Avoid Mail Scams.” Descriptions of scams that may be reaching seniors through the mail, including lottery scams and the IRS tax scams, and tips on how to avoid such scams.

• “Common Phone Scams” and “Tips to Avoid Phone Scams.” Descriptions of scams that may originate as phone calls to seniors, and tips on how to avoid such scams.

• “You Can’t Out-Scam a Scammer.” Guidance on why seniors should not “play along” with a scam phone call, even when they realize it’s a scam.

• “Important Phone Numbers.” List of important phone numbers that seniors can call if they suspect that they have become a victim of a scam.

• “Suspected Scam Calls Log.” Phone log that seniors can use to keep track of phone numbers used by fraudsters to make scam phone calls.

• “Directory of County Consumer Affairs Offices.” Contact information for county consumer affairs offices throughout New Jersey.

To view the kit in its entirety, visit www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/fightingfra…/…/default.aspx.

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