Crime and Courts

Oct 18, 2012 7:58 PM by KBZK Media Center

More seniors target of fraud

Crimes of fraud against seniors are on the rise... across the United States and here in Gallatin County.

Have you ever heard of the "grandparent scam"? It's one of the top senior scams according to law enforcement officials. A name of a child, grandchild, neighbor, organization and/or school is easily obtainable information used against seniors to trick them into forking over money. Today, it is easy than ever to gather that kind of personal information.

Often times, seniors wont report the crime. Ruth Ann Marchi, owner of Home Instead Senior Care in Bozeman, says only about 25 percent of cases are every reported because seniors feel they will be deemed as incompetent.
With fraud on the rise, Home Instead Senior Care has teamed up with law enforcement to spread awareness.

"We want to educate people on what makes seniors in particularly vulnerable... how we can help prevent them from being taken advantage of, how we can help them from losing their independence and dignity," said Marchi.
Gallatin County Law Enforcement and Home Instead Senior Care are making stops all over Bozeman. Thursday, they were at the Bozeman Senior Center.

Experts say the some of the top scams seniors should be aware of are Telemarketing, Fake Charities, Sweepstakes, Health-care fraud, Identity theft and financial exploitation.

It is recommended that seniors keep a scam checklist:

- Consider a second set of eyes to look over bill payments and mail
- Don't send any personal information through the mail, online or over the phone to anyone you don't know
- Buy and install a locking mail box or a PO Box
- Carefully review monthly accounts for unauthorized charges
- Check your credit score to make sure it hasn't changed significantly

For more tips and other resources visit the Home Instead Senior Care Network online
or by phone 406-922-5060

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