With our Watchyourbuck.com blog, our BBB frequently talks about scams, many of them targeting seniors. We would like to put a stop to as many of those scams as possible, and we’re not the only ones.
Tomorrow, June 15, is the United Nations-designated World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, so the global payment service Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) and Better Business Bureau (BBB) announced efforts to promote awareness of scams that target seniors.
BBB Scam Stopper was jointly launched by BBB and Western Union to help consumers reduce their chances of being victimized by scammers.
A common scam that targets seniors involves prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries. Another is the emergency or grandparent scam, where the scammer pretends to be a family member in trouble and makes an urgent request for money.
BBB Scam Stopper explains how scams work and the tricks scammers use to gain their victims’ trust. Sign up to receive BBB Scam Alerts and weekly e-mails about the latest scams reported to BBBs across North America.
Wire transfer is a legitimate way to send money, but Western Union promotes three basic money transfer “never evers”:
- Never use a money transfer service to send money to someone you have not met in person.
- Never send money for an emergency situation without verifying that it’s a real emergency; confirm the emergency through other friends and family and ignore the caller’s plea not to tell others.
- Never send funds received by check until it officially clears in your account, which can take several days, or more.
Information on scams and how to protect yourself is also available at Western Union’s Consumer Protection Center: http://www.westernunion.com/stopfraud.