Tips for Seniors…
Brickyard Bank believes that people
have a right to privacy in their homes, including a right to be free from unwanted
telemarketing calls. It's sometimes hard to tell if a sales
pitch is legitimate or fraudulent. You can't judge it by the tone of someone's voice,
or how friendly or sincere the person seems. Good salespeople are convincing, and
so are crooks. But it's probably a scam if:
You get a call or postcard from someone
telling you you've won a prize and asking for payment to buy something, for processing
or administrative fees, for customs, for taxes, or any other reason. Legitimate
sweepstakes or prize offers don't ask for payment because it's illegal.
The person says you have to take the
offer immediately or you'll miss the opportunity. Legitimate companies don't pressure
people to act without time to look into the deal.
The caller refuses to send you written
information before you commit to anything. Legitimate companies are always glad
to send information about what they're offering.
The caller claims that you can make
huge profits in an investment with no risk. All investments are risky and legitimate
companies must tell consumers about the possible risks involved.
The caller claims that you can make
huge profits through a franchise or other business opportunity with little or no
effort. All business ventures require knowledge and effort on the part of buyers,
and no legitimate companies would guaranty profits.
The caller is asking for a donation
but won't tell you exactly how the money will be used and how you can verify the
charity and what it does. Legitimate charities are willing to say what percentage
of contributions is used for services and how much goes to overhead and fundraising.
They are also willing to tell consumers who they can check with to confirm that
they are legitimate.
The caller insists that you send your
payment by a private courier or wire money. Legitimate companies don't try to keep
people from checking the deal out and changing their minds, or try to evade the
postal authorities, by demanding immediate payment by courier or wire.
The company asks for cash. Legitimate
companies don't ask for cash, but con artists do because they often have trouble
getting merchant approval from the credit card companies, and they also want to
be hard to trace.
The caller asks for your social security
number. Legitimate companies don't ask for that unless you are applying for credit
and they need to check your credit report.
The caller asks for your credit card
number, bank account number, or other financial information when you aren't buying
anything or paying with those accounts. Legitimate companies only ask for financial
information to bill you or debit your account for purchases you've agreed to make.
The company calls you relentlessly
or after you've asked not to be called anymore. Legitimate companies will take "no"
for an answer and will take you off their calling lists if you ask. Con artists
will keep on calling to wear you down or get more money from you.
The company offers to get you a loan,
or credit, or a credit card, or to "repair" your bad credit if you pay an up-front
fee. Legitimate lenders and credit card issuers do not demand payment in advance,
and no one can get bad information removed from a credit file if it is accurate.
The company offers to get back money
that you have lost to another fraudulent scheme if you pay an up-front fee. Law
enforcement agencies don't ask for payment to try to help consumers get their money
back, and it's illegal for a company to ask for advance payment for such services. The senior community continues to be
a target of scam artists that perceive senior citizens as vulnerable As a result,
seniors are a frequent target of a wide range of consumer fraud scams. Please be careful.