The Chillicothe Police Department has been receiving numerous calls of fraud/scam calls to the elderly, and unfortunately, some have fallen victim to the scams. The Police Department is attempting to provide information to the public in an effort for residents to protect themselves.
The following are some common schemes:
- Romance scam: Criminals pose as interested romantic partners on social media or dating websites to capitalize on their elderly victims’ desire to find companions.
- Tech support scam: Criminals pose as technical support representatives and offer to fix non-existent computer issues. The scammers gain remote access to victims’ devices and sensitive information.
- Grandparent scam: Criminals pose as a relative—usually a child or grandchild—claiming to be in immediate financial need.
- Government impersonation scam: Criminals pose as government employees and threaten to arrest or prosecute victims unless they agree to provide funds or other payments.
- Sweepstakes/charity/lottery scam: Criminals claim to work for legitimate charitable organizations to gain victims’ trust. Or they claim their targets have won a foreign lottery or sweepstake, which they can collect for a “fee.”
- Home repair scam: Criminals appear in person and charge homeowners in advance for home improvement services that they never provide.
- TV/radio scam: Criminals target potential victims using illegitimate advertisements about legitimate services, such as reverse mortgages or credit repair.
- Family/caregiver scam: Relatives or acquaintances of the elderly victims take advantage of them or otherwise get their money.
The police department says the key to protecting yourself is in recognizing scam attempts and end all communication with the perpetrator. The best solution is to hang up the phone.
You can also help yourself by searching online for contact information such as the name, email, phone number, and address of the proposed “offer.” You will discover that in most cases, other people have posted information online about individuals and businesses trying to run scams.