How Can I Protect Myself?
Trust your instincts. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is a scam.
- Verify the caller using an independent number.
- Never give out personal information over the telephone.
- It is illegal for a legitimate sweepstakes to require money up-front before paying out winnings.
- Never contract with or allow unsolicited door-to-door sales or repair people inside your home without independent verification of who they are.
- Do not clip or place mail on the outside of a mailbox. Retrieve incoming mail promptly.
- Shred all bills, financial statements, canceled checks and tax documents before placing them in the garbage.
- Lock your doors, even if you are "just outside."
- Real friends should not be after your money or your credit.
- Help yourself and help your neighbors. You are our best resource; our eyes and ears.
- Get descriptions of suspicious people and vehicles.
- Call the police or sheriff or other appropriate agency if you suspect abuse.
Elder Abuse Facts
For every reported case of elder abuse, five cases go unreported.
- People over the age of 50 control 70% of the wealth in the United States.
- Do not automatically think that civil legal action is your only recourse.
- Theft comes in many forms.
- Good crooks try to make theft look legal.
Elder Abuse Links
California Penal Code Section 368
It is unlawful to willfully harm or to cause or permit harm to come to an elder, age 65 or older, or dependent adult.
- It is unlawful to steal or embezzle from or falsely imprison an elder or dependent adult.
Types of Abuse