Safe Family Report: Scams to watch out for
Thu, 05 Aug 2010 22:45:42 GMT —
Scammers are finding new ways to try and get your personal information. The elderly are usually the targets of identity theft. Some of those scams specifically target grandparents.
"You get a phone call and somebody claims to be with the court system. They say your granddaughter or grandson is in jail, you need to wire them money to pay," Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said.
This scam specifically targets seniors.
"As I've learned, grandparents will do anything for their grandchildren and so they run off or drive off to the bank, withdraw an extraordinary amount of money - often as much as $20,000 - wire that away, complete scam, their grandchild is just fine, they never checked," Madigan said.
Here's another scam geared toward the elderly. Attorney General Lisa Madigan warned these seniors a caller claims because of the new federal health care plan, you need to re-enroll for Medicare.
"Completely untrue, but what they're doing is trying to get you to give them your personal information, your social security number, date of birth, sometimes your bank account number. Sometimes they say there are rebate checks coming for folks that are getting their prescription drug coverage with Medicare and they want to directly deposit that into your bank account, and so that's how they're extracting your financial information from you and often times just taking your money indirectly out of your bank account," Madigan said.
Another scam gaining in popularity targets people in the military.
"What we're seeing is when people are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan and somebody knows that or somebody has access to that information, they're using that, basically stealing their identity, running up all sorts of terrible bills, credit and so you've really got to watch out for that," said Madigan
One last piece of advice: Check your credit score online. You are entitled to one free credit score from each of the three credit bureaus every year. And check the scores of loved ones overseas to make sure they're not a victim of a scam or fraud.
For anymore information you can go to the Illinois Attorney General's Office website.
You can also find more information about the Silver Beats Program here.
To find out how to protect yourself from identity theft, check out this KHQA Safe Family Report.