The Indiana Attorney General's Office works to identify and aggressively prosecute those who cheat or deceive the elderly. The office files lawsuits against those in violation of Indiana's consumer laws and, in some cases, may facilitate the resolution of disputes between consumers and businesses.
Offers that Target Seniors
Perpetrators may seek out senior consumers with a number of scams such as:
- The solicitation of home improvements, medical devices and other services and products;
- Telemarketing and mail fraud targeting the elderly;
- "International lottery" offers and other sweepstake scams; and
- Property tax exemption offers for seniors.
Be particularly cautious of offers that seem too good to be true as that is a red flag for detecting fraud. Do not allow yourself to be isolated or pressured into making a purchase. Don't allow strangers to come to your home and/or to review your personal financial information unless you initiate the need for such services and are confident you are dealing with a legitimate business.
Door-to-door sales of home improvements and repairs are notorious for targeting seniors who may physically need help with maintaining their homes and who may be intimidated by a door-to-door contractor who comes to their door. Unscrupulous sales may also involve medical products or devices offered to seniors with limited means and increasing health concerns.
Consumer Education for Seniors and their Families
Telemarketing and mail fraud are common means for targeting senior consumers. However, timely information about the latest scams and other crimes that target senior Hoosiers can be a powerful protective weapon. Understanding how scam artists operate will help help targets avoid becoming victims.
Perpetrators of telemarketing and mail fraud tend to disappear once they get money or they'll spend the money before they can be found. The hard reality is that, once ripped off by a con artist, the consumer almost never gets their money back. For this reason, it is very important to educate yourself, your friends and your families about consumer fraud.
Many scam artists victimize consumers who are not seniors. The Consumer Protection section of the Attorney General's website also provides information about fraud and scams. In addition, you can sign up to receive e-mail and text notifications of consumer alerts to find out about the latest scams.
Prevention Tips on Common Scams Targeting Seniors:
The Attorney General's community outreach program helps to serve the growing number of Hoosiers who are facing difficulties. This program is designed to bring services to our citizens who are most in need. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
FSSA Services for Older Adults
Central Indiana Council on Aging CICOA