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Cattaraugus County warns against elder scam

CATTARAUGUS — The Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging recently logged a number of tips from older adults who had reported receiving calls regarding medical alert devices.

The senior citizens indicated that initially, the call appeared to be a human being, but it is actually a computerized calling system that responds to key words.

The caller stated that a medical alert device would be provided at no cost to the senior, a friend or family member paid for the device.

If the older adult indicated that he or she would allow someone to come into the home and install the medical alert device, the computerized caller requested credit card information. The goal of this fraudulent program was to get people to reveal their credit card information.

In order to avoid being scammed over the phone, the CCDA reminded residents to never give out personal or financial information over the phone, especially if received by an unsolicited telephone call.

Never cash a check from an unknown source, especially if the person is being asked to wire a portion of the proceeds to a stranger.

Never wire money to someone unknown; it is the same thing as handing over the cash.

If someone suspects they have been a victim of a scam or a fraud aimed at seniors, the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging has set up a toll-free hotline to help.

Anyone with information about suspected fraud can call the hotline at 1-855-303-9470.

For more information on this and other fraudulent activities geared toward elders, call the CCDA at 373-8032 or 1-800-462-2901.
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