Sen. Brown's office, FTC warn senior citizens of scams - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Sen. Brown's office, FTC warn senior citizens of scams

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Senior citizens can be especially susceptible to scams, so Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown's office, in conjunction with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), wants to make sure they're being educated about them. 

A Senior Scams workshop was held Monday at the Mayores Senior Center in south Toledo. The group learned about common red flags, how to spot scams and ultimately avoid them.  

One of the most common fraud schemes is known as an impostor scam, where the scam artist calls senior citizens pretending to be the IRS or a utility company, and asks for money. Another is convincing a victim to pay for a copy of a credit report, when the FTC says that service is available online for free three times annually.

Seniors like Peggy Easterwood say they're often approached by these scam artists.

"[I'm] never a victim, but I've been called several times and received stuff in the mail, and it just goes in the garbage," she said.

Easterwood also said while she considers herself knowledgeable on the topic, the workshop's information was still helpful.

"There are people out there to help you, and they gave the numbers that you can call for your free credit report, because a lot of them want to charge you and you're on a fixed income. This is very helpful for the seniors," she said. "It's good for people to look out for the seniors. They're the first ones to fall victim to anything because they're, I hate to say this, but they can be a little gullible and softhearted."

A representative from the FTC shared that sentiment.

"Unfortunately, scam artists prey on folks who are trustworthy," said Larissa Bungo, Assistant Regional Director for the FTC. "This is a very savvy group; many of them are very in tune and were aware of the scams that I was talking about, but I think there were a few who were surprised to hear some tips, such as don't keep your social security card in your wallet. That's prime information that a scam artist or identity thief would be interested in."

A second workshop was also held at the Eleanor Kahle Senior Center Monday, but Bungo says the diversity at the Mayores Center was key for ensuring all groups were included.

"The more that we can reach members of every community, the better. And this senior center in particular seems to draw folks from every community," she said.

To file a complaint about a scam with the FTC, click here.
To receive a free copy of your credit report, click here

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