A new narrative

As the centenarian agency in the consumer protection world, the FTC knows that changes in the marketplace almost always affect trends in fraud – and that fraudsters follow the headlines. And we listen when the US Census Bureau tells us that more Americans are 65 and older now than at any other time in US history. So we anticipate that fraud targeting older citizens will increase in the next few years.

Pass It On imageThat’s just one reason the FTC launched a fraud education campaign aimed at active older people, a group with life experience and social networks. They’re also the group with tidy nest eggs. Pass It On is based on the idea that older adults are part of the solution, not simply the victims of scammers. The campaign acknowledges older people’s experience, expertise and trusted place in the community. It reinforces what they already know about some common scams, and gives them the tools to start conversations about these scams with a friend, neighbor or relative.

We hope this project will help change the narrative about older people and fraud. Think about the news stories you see on the topic, and how often you see or hear the words “vulnerable,” “frail,” and “victim” as part of the story. There’s no question that some older people are scammed – and that when they are, the consequences are severe. Losing money to fraud at any time of life packs a wallop; losing it when there’s no time to recoup the loss is especially devastating. But our complaint data suggests that that’s not the experience of most older adults – that is, people who are active and engaged in their communities.   

So we’re choosing to accentuate some positive messages and enlist the nation’s active older adults in the continuing fight against fraud.  And folks who are over 65 – and the people who work with them – are responding in kind:  Orders for over 300,000 copies of the materials have come in from 49 states in just eight weeks. 

You can view the materials online or order your own free copies. The topics in the first phase of Pass It On are imposter scams, identity theft, fundraising fraud, health care scams, paying too much and ‘you’ve won’ scams. See for yourself. And then, pass it on. 

Comments

Bravo!!! Well done, Thank You for caring!!!!

Thank You
Carolyn

I shall forward one of the perfect fruad I encountered. I want you to carefully read my message and I shall be glad if you will reply my letter to you online and detect if its a fraud or not
My names are Oni Adekunle Oluwagbemiga.
My ccomplain as stated below :-

On the 15th day of may 2008 I received a mail in my inbox [silverlight2005] which is an Olympic notification from Beijing Olympic 2008 through the customer service and Logistic Department , with reference No:FL / 668530092 Batch No: 452006/14/IOC08/FL.

I was gladly inform about draws held by VODAFONE ONLINE PROMOTION INTERNATIONAL in conjunction with the National organizing committee of the 2008 Beijing Olympic held on the 13th of may 2008in Beijing China.
It was stated to me that I along with 57 others worldwide were selected winners under draws 8+J promo program specially organized because of the 2008 Beijing Olympic which final grand draw in August 2008. I was made known that the final grand draw will provide me a chance of winning a free flight ticket to watch the return of 28 sports.

This is my cry , however , my e-mail address assigned to E-Tag number in the random computer selection system [RCSS] of e-mail addreses , flagged out the luccky numbers and consequently won me the lottery in the 1st category. I was congratulated.
I was informed that all participants in the vodafone promotion program were selected randomly through a computer ballot system drawn from over 500,000 companies and 50,000,000 individual email adresses.
This vodafone promotion is organized by the host country in collaboration with the International Olympic Committee [IOC] . Funds for the draws have been contributed by the major sponsors of the games which include adidas, Hyundai, Fujifilm, Mastercard ,Samsung , Gillette , Continental, Msn, Tesco and a host of others.

With respect to the above , I was therefore been approved for payment of a lump sum of Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great Britain Pounds [E850,000.00 GBP]in certified cheque credited to fil No: LP/26510460037/02. This is from a total cash prize of Eight Million , Five Hundred thousand Pounds [E8,500,000.00 GBP] shared among the ten international winners in the first category.

I was inform to begin claim processing of my prize to contact the redemption officer stated as follows:- Mr Will Freeman , I was notify that he is my agent and responsible for the processing and transfer of my winnings to me.
The security code number issued to me is V-3965-OPo57/C1. I was asked to keep the code personal and that my winning must be claimed not later than 29th may 2008.

I contacted Mr Will Freeman on phone immediately as at 15th may 2008, we spoke in person and he directed me to receive a letter online which I did , the letter is directing me to go and pay E200 [Two Hundred Pounds] into an account with Access bank with account number [forgotten] but I will Look for the copy of that letter , I have printed transactions on paper.

On Friday 23 May 2008 I received a letter in my mail box from European Claims Department at which yahoo Domain keys confirmed that the message was sent by googlemail.com to Silver Light the subject matter is update from Beijing Promo.
In the Letter to my mailbox the information directs me as follows:-

Attn: Oni,
I got your information and they have been noted , I will like you to know that VODAFONE have taken care of the dispatch fees all you need do is insure your parcel for security reasons since nobody would be held responsible for damages.

The insurance fee is 200GBP as soon as that is done I will personally dispatch your parcel with the United parcel service [UPS] and you will be sent a tracking number to monitor your parcel.

I await your urgent Response

NOTE:- ALL WINNERS ARE TO CLAIM THEIR PRIZE BEFORE THE END OF THIS MONTH SINCE THERE WILL BE A RAFFLE DRAW.

Will Freeman.

I paid this money into the account given but the transaction collapsed when I lost contact online I could not remember my password to the email address.

Ever since I attempt calling Mr Will Freeman the line was off.

I want you to make every possible means to track this Man , he may have been a fraudster to so many people online all over the world and a disgrace to his claims as euroclaimsofficer.

I look forward to your assistance.

Thank you for the time I spend.

Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, this sounds like a scam. Asking you to pay for a prize could be a sign of a scam. You can learn more about Prize Scams in this FTC article. Also, you can file a complaint at ecommerce.gov a joint effort by consumer protection agencies in 30 countries to gather and share cross-border consumer complaints.

I think that this information is great to have and not just for the 65 and older community but for the younger community as well.

Thank you for the info

Great info. Thank you.

Super! I'm an old fogey (67), the world's greatest skeptic, and have prevented my kids from scams(leasing of foreclosed housing from non-owners, credit scams, phishing, id theft, and more). I'm disabled but am no dummy! Just a few minutes ago I sent a complaint to the FTC regarding a banking phishing text message - and I think I convinced the affected bank - which Ialerted - to take action. I'm delighted we not-so-dummies can be of help.

I have reported the IRS phone scam and they are still actively scamming...phone number 301-812-4171 is a scam phone. Got another call same scam thing from phone number 866-978-5981.These scams just seem to go on and on ripping off seniors, and these scammers are very good. I don't have the confidence in the government that they will stop these scammers in a timely manner. I thinks these scammers know that they can get away with it and will just continue to operate.

IRS/Police Officer calls, saying I owe money and will be arrested. Call back number they left was 222-864-1399. Hanging up helps but they keep calling back. Police need their phone number and name, not possible to get! Can complain but there is no solution except give up phone.

It isn't just the 65 and over who get the senior scams. Once I turned 50 the scamming for older adults started. We finally bought a phone that allows us to block calls and when they call back, all they will hear is a busy signal.

Be careful, there is a new or perhaps old scam that I was not aware of. A phone call from the U.S. Census Bureau, except it is not. Do not fall for this and provide personal info. Number I got called from was 812-218-3144.

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