State, local leaders warning elderly about fraud schemes

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CENTRAL ILLINIOIS (WCIA)–Fraud schemes targeting seniors have been on the rise since the pandemic started. Now, police across Illinois are partnering with banks and elderly service groups to find ways to put a stop to it.

Fraud schemes come in all forms, which makes it hard for the people who’ve been targeted to know they might be a victim. According to the Illinois Department of Aging, scams cost seniors billions every year.

Some counties are providing programs meant to protect seniors from scams. One of those is the Dewitt County Triad. It’s a partnership between their Sheriff’s Office and Senior Services throughout the county. The Vice President said right now, they’re warning people about scam calls related to the pandemic.

“This year we’ve gotten plenty of calls saying peoples’ grandchildren have COVID,” V.P. Connie Unruh said. “And are in the hospital and need some money to pay for their bills,”

They also provide an educational series for the elderly talking about some common signs of a scam.
Unruh said the best way you can keep yourself safe is to verify that whoever’s asking for your money or information is coming from a legit source.

If you or a loved one is the victim of a fraud scheme, there are plenty of resources you may use that can help. First and foremost, check with your bank for transactions if you believe you’ve been incorrectly charged or if your information has been stolen.

If an unemployment insurance claim has been filed in your name, you can follow these steps on the IDES website.

If you live in DeWitt County, you can reach the Triad Program’s Facebook page here.

If you have any other questions or concerns that you or someone you know may be the victim of a fraud scheme, you can also call your local Sheriff or Police Department.

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