Free kit educates seniors about scams

Experts say scammers will target elderly, play on urgency and emotion

DETROIT - Home is where your parents and grandparents are supposed to be feel safe. But scammers have found a way to sneak in and bilk thousands from elderly victims.

Local 4 Defender Karen Drew sat down with metro Detroiter Pauline Sanford, was tricked out of $6,000 after she sent money she thought was to help her nephew.

Sanford said she got a phone call out of the blue one day and the person on the other end of the line sounded desperate. The person on the other line told Sanford it was her nephew, who was stuck in Spain and needed money or else he would go to jail.

"That scared me because I hear they treat you real bad down in those jails," Sanford said.

She sent the money and later called her nephew to follow up – that's when she learned it was all a scam.

Kerry Gatti is with Home Instead Senior Care out of Shelby Township. She says Sanford's case is common – a scammer will call a senior posing as a family member in need. They convince their victims by sounding urgent and emotionally.

But knowledge is power that can help protect seniors. A free senior fraud protection kit is available to educate seniors on how to avoid door-to-door, computer, mail and telephone scams. The kit shows seniors how to respond to different kinds of solicitations and how to keep their information private.

For information on how to get a free senior fraud kit, contact Home Instead Senior Care at 586-992-0100.

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