New Jersey Anti-Fraud Toolkit a boon to seniors and a model for other states

One presumes that our aging parents have “seen it all.” But there are scam artists who understand their weaknesses and are always looking for ways to exploit them for profit.

According to a story I read, New Jersey lawmakers are giving seniors in that state the tools to combat con artists and scam artists. They’ve released an Senior’s Anti-Fraud Kit online targeted at NJ seniors but available to all.

New Jersey lawmakers say that one in five citizens are victimized to the tune of $2.6 billion per year.

This toolkit pulls together suggestions about avoiding scams, computer fraud, and ones that can come in the mail. The toolkit is also updated to include new information, alerts and scams prevalent in the state.

Suggestions in the toolkit include:

  • Don’t play with scammers. By ‘playing along’  with a scam, seniors may unwittingly provide personal information and expose themselves to greater numbers of scam calls in the future.
  • Red flags. “You are told not to tell anybody about your alleged ‘prize’ or ‘winnings.’”
  • Door-to-door sales: “Don’t be rushed into having work done. Legitimate contractors will give you time to consider their proposal and decide if you want to move forward.”
  • Phone calls. “Keep your credit card, checking account or Social Security numbers to yourself, even if someone is asking you to “confirm” this information. If a caller’s pitch seems suspicious, it’s probably a scam.”

The only downside to this remarkable initiative is that although the information is valuable and transferable to many Americans, similar ones are not yet in place across the country. It really should act as a model initiative for other communities and cities across the U.S.

This intrigues me given that some of my clients are in this unfortunately targeted demographic. The more we can protect them from those taking advantage of their better and less suspicious natures, the better.