Inside LADA

May 29, 2015: District Attorney Jackie Lacey Issues First #FraudFriday Alert

Fraud Alert

Welcome to #FraudFriday.

This is the first #FraudFriday Alert issued by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Every other Friday, the experts who prosecute these devastating financial crimes will offer warnings about the latest ploys targeting consumers in Los Angeles County – with a special emphasis on safeguarding seniors.

Educating seniors about financial fraud is one of District Attorney Jackie Lacey's top priorities.

In an effort to fulfill that goal and in anticipation of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15), we are dedicating our first #FraudFriday Alert to financial elder abuse.

Visit our website at http://da.lacounty.gov/seniors for detailed information on more than a dozen different scams targeting people ages 65 and older. There you will find printer-friendly versions of these materials and a video message from District Attorney Lacey.

#FraudFriday Alert:

It may sound obvious but it still offers criminals the most direct line to seniors: the telephone.

That's how criminals are able to trick so many seniors into sending them money. In the “Grandma Scam,” con artists use information about the victim’s family members, gleaned from social media sites, to persuade them to send money supposedly to get a grandchild out of jail.

TIPS:

  • Be aware of common scams like this one. Telling others is the only way to stop it.
  • Use caller ID or an answering machine to screen calls. Don't pick up the phone unless you recognize the number.
  • Check out the story before sending money. Call the grandchild or his/her parents.
  • Establish a secret password with family members so that you are able to verify it is truly a family member calling.

If you are concerned that a senior is being scammed, please contact your local law enforcement agency or the Los Angeles County Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-877-4-R-SENIORS (1-877-477-3646).

Follow @LADAOffice on Twitter for up-to-date news or tweet us with #FraudFriday to share experiences and tips to combat financial crimes.