Con Artist Target Elderly In Region 8 - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR - Shannon Johnson Reports

Con Artist Target Elderly In Region 8

September 28, 2004 -- Posted at 5:30 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO--Every year 1 out of 3 adults in the United States gets a call from a con artist. You may not know it, but people get ripped off on a regular basis right here in Region 8. Scammers know most people can smell a rat, so they often prey on the most vulnerable sector of our population, the elderly.

Con artist complaints are generally filed through Attorney General Mike Beebe's office.

"They've received a lot of complaints on telemarketing fraud, investment scams, and ID theft is really big in Arkansas,"said Susan Kuehner with AARP Arkansas.

You might think that you'd ever fall for one of these scams, but it happens everyday and a disproportionate number of those who fall prey are elderly. Donna Monehan works at the East Arkansas Area Agency on Aging in Jonesboro.  She says she gets calls at least once a month from local seniors who've been scammed. She says home repair con artists like to hit the streets where seniors live after a summer storm.

"They see a roof that needs repairing and they stop immediately and ask the elderly."

The homeowner pays, but the work never gets done. These scams aren't just limited to seniors. It could happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Here are a few tips to help you avoid a scam.

- Check Credentials

- Never Give Out Your Social Security or Credit Card Number on the Phone

- When Mailing Letters Use A Post Office Drop Box, Otherwise Thieves Can Take Mail Out of Your Personal Mailbox and Steal Account Numbers

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