Did you know that con artists who prey on innocent seniors, sparking their interest with work-at-home or get-rich-quick schemes, exploit people to the tune of $400 billion annually?
These tempting scams lure hundreds of innocent adults each week. Work-at-home scams vary from the promise of earning thousands per month through internet businesses to stuffing envelopes. Other common scams involve rebate processing where the victim is convinced to pay hundreds of dollars in fees for training and certifications and assembly work that requires upfront payment for the proper machinery. Mystery shopping, phony sweepstakes, multi-level marketing schemes, and medical billing “opportunities” round out the common at-home scams.
What do nearly all of these scams have in common? They either require upfront fees or personal credit card information. Don’t part with your money or your personal information!
If you are recruited for an opportunity or see an appealing ad for an at-home job, find out exactly what the job entails, who pays for the work, when the first paycheck will be received, and what the total cost of the program is including equipment, training or supplies.
Check out the company. Research the company online and check with the Attorney General by visiting naag.org and the Better Business Bureau bbb.org in the state where the company is based.
Prevent your loved ones from falling for a scam. While you can’t prevent every situation, having elderly assistance services Boynton Beach, FL offers at Expicare Nursing Agency, Inc. can help. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends a few things you can do to reduce exposure to con artists.
*Put your loved ones’ addresses on the opt-out lists with the direct marketing association so that they won’t receive junk mail. Click here to opt-out.
*Place your loved ones’ phone number as “unlisted.” Add their phone numbers to the “do not call” lists as well. Click here to opt-out.
*Check their credit reports to find out if any new accounts were opened in their names.
If you need help explaining the scams or getting your loved ones to recognize they are victims, contact the AARP Fraud Fighter Call Center at 800-646-2283 toll-free.
Report a scam. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a scam, contact the company and request a refund. Then, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at ftc.gov/complaint or 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). Also, contact the National Fraud Information Center at. https://www.fraud.org/ , the Better Business Bureau (BBB) at https://www.bbb.org/ and the US Postal Inspection Service at https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/. Reporting the scam to these various organizations will help stop another person from being victimized.
How to Protect Seniors From Work at Home Schemes
With con artists pitching crazy schemes it can be hard to know how to protect seniors from work at home schemes. Often the people on the other end of the phone target seniors with fixed incomes by using unrealistic lures. In many cases, the scheme rarely includes information such as what the business is, what the product is, how the process works, and what the total cost of everything is. The only goal is to make people depart with their money and targeting seniors who would like a little extra money is like striking gold.
Knowing how to stop your loved one from being a target is a great step, but what schemes are you looking out for?
3 Common Work at Home Schemes
There are many schemes out there, and they can be found just about anywhere. Since anyone can post online it makes it hard to know what is real and what is a lie. Knowing what to look out for can make it easier for you to keep your loved one protected. Here are the 3 most common scams to look out for:
1. Medical Billing Centers
In this scam, it starts with seniors sending money for a software to run a bill collection service from their home. The scam artist will promise that the market is wide open and they have a lineup of clients and investors. In reality, there is no software that is special. The software is an assortment of forms and collection letters that anyone could create and the companies they send seniors are often just from the phone book. There is no collection and seniors stand to lose thousands with this scam.
2. Envelope Stuffing
By far envelope stuffing is the most common scam among seniors according to the U.S Postal Inspection Service. In this scam seniors send money and the “business” will send them information about earning money by stuffing envelopes at home. The idea is that you stuff envelopes and all you have to do is get more people to help you, so it is easy money. This is a multi-level marketing scheme as you make nothing unless other people are working under you. Only the people on top are making true money and they are the scammers.
3. Assembly or Craft Work
This is often promoted as an easy job that seniors on a fixed income can do. All they have to do is send money for supplies in order to assemble the products together such as aprons, baby clothes, jewelry, and Christmas decorations. Then they are told that there is a ready market for the products or the company will buy the products from them./ The truth is the items rarely meet non-existent quality standards or the seniors are told they have to sell the product themselves. They make little if any money doing this and it can cost them thousands.
Knowing how to protect seniors from work at home schemes is just one way the Expicare Nursing Agency strives to help you protect your loved ones. If you have more questions don’t hesitate to reach out to us today and learn more about what we can do for you.