Community Forum Aims To Protect Older Pennsylvanians From Scams

Learn the latest scams and how to protect yourself, loved ones

Scam Forum For Older Pennsylvanians

PA Department of General Services

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BETHLEHEM (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — State officials held a town hall Monday on how older Pennsylvanians can avoid falling victim to fraud and scams.

Attendees at the Andrew W. Litzenberger House in Bethlehem asked questions and shared their own experiences, as well as learned ways to prevent victimization.

State Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell told the KDKA Radio Afternoon News a common scam involves calling elderly individuals and claiming to be a grandchild.

“[They spin] a story about how they’re in desperate trouble, they’ve been arrested or they’re in a foreign country and they’ve lost their wallet or you know some desperate situation and saying ‘I need you to wire me money right away,’” Hassell said.

Scammers are also creating shell companies and fake W-2 forms to steal people’s refunds based on stolen identities.

It is common for financial fraud to go unreported. The state Department of Aging estimates for every case reported, between 14 and 24 cases go undetected.

Victims of the “Grandparent Scam,” or other similar scams, should contact local law enforcement.

Anyone who is concerned an older adult is being exploited can file a confidential report with any Area Agency on Aging or call 800-490-8505.

More tips can be found here, published by the Department of Revenue in help Pennsylvanians protect themselves, their identities and their wallets.

Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne and Rep. Steve Samuelson also participated in the event.

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