- Sometimes the financial manipulation is perfectly legal including confusing language that commits the buyer to more than they wanted or hiding expensive shipping and handling fees . Often it is repeated phone solicitations from unscrupulous and never-heard-of charities.
- The True Link study revealed that financial exploitation is typically progressive, rather than an isolated incident. Once people fall prey to a scam, they are repeatedly targeted.
- The National Center for Victims of Crime says that Americans age 65 and older are more likely to be targeted by fraudsters and more likely to lose money once targeted.
- People 60 years and older were 26 percent of all fraud complaints tracked by the Federal Trade Commission in 2012 -- the most of any age group.
- One in every five Americans age 65 or older has been abused financially, according to a 2010 survey by the Investor Protection Trust, a financial-education organization.
- Never respond to a phone call. Ask for the information in writing or just hang up. Your bank or other financial institution as well as the IRS will always put their request in writing. Even if the person says they are a neighbor or relative, do not believe them. Scammers use surprise and urgency to their advantage. Never give out any information over the phone or in response to an email (and don't click on the links!).
- Only contribute to charities that you have researched and that you know for a fact are legitimate.
- Talk over large requests for charity or demands for payment with your family, your financial consultant, your lawyer, your pastor or one of the leaders at Homestead Village. It is better to get counsel that concurs than pay the money and then regret it later.
Homestead Village does everything it can to keep our community free of scams and fraudulent activity. If we become aware of any behavior that puts our residents at risk, we take immediate action for the well being of all who call Homestead Village their home.