Elderly Learn How to Protect Themselves from Scammers

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Attorney General Troy King was in Dothan for a regional conference for seniors to warn them about the dangers of fraud.

Identity theft is on the rise in Alabama, and it’s important that the elderly know how to protect themselves from scammers.

It is an all too common scenario: senior citizens being scammed out of their own money because of misinformation and fraud.

"Seniors are targeted because they have nest eggs of some amount that can be stolen away from them," King said.

Monday at Flowers Hospital, a conference was held in order to inform seniors about the dangers of organized scams.

It comes in all forms: consumer fraud, identity theft, and even financial investment fraud.

Dan Lord, with the Alabama Securities Commission, said, "Take your time. Never buy anything in securities or anything, period, that you don't fully understand. There is no investment that you have to do right now."

Speakers had a lot of advice to give. Another good point: verify before you buy.

Lord added, "Also, diversify; don't put all your eggs in one basket. Americans do that; they should divide up their investments."

And, be sure to watch out for telemarketers and fraudulent emails.

Some services will try and trick you in order to gain access to your social security number.

Senior Citizen Johnny Cox said, "I've learned not to give your social security number to anyone, your driver's license, stuff like that; there's a bunch of it and I found out you can get help."

Scammers cannot be stopped, but you can prevent them from stealing your identity.

Some important advice for everyone: be careful who you give your personal information to; always make sure their title and organization is official.

If you would like more information on how to protect yourself from fraud, call the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-392-5658.

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