By Cherri Gregg
CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) – The NJ Division of Consumer Affairs paid a visit to a Cherry Hill assisted living facility– after an elderly resident was scammed out of $8,000.
“When the economy is bad, the scammers are better,” says Margaret Peggy Anastos, of the consumer affairs division of the NJ Attorney General’s office. She spoke to a full house at Spring Hills Cherry Hill on Marton Pike, telling the group that seniors, even at assisted living facilities, are sitting ducks for some scam artists. Luckily, Spring Hills helped recover a check for $4,000 for a resident, but not before she gave the con artists $8,000.
“They know the senior citizens have a check coming every month,” says Anastos, “They know they have a little savings, some more than others.”
Anastos says seniors tend to be home for phone fraudsters and are more likely to take the bait in con letters and emails. She says the most popular scams demand credit card payment from the victim coupled with a threat of arrest.
“People calling saying they’re from the IRS and they’re going to have them arrested if they don’t pay by the end of the day,” she says, “or they are due to be at jury duty and you didn’t show up so you owe $100.”
Other deceptions can include urgent calls where a grandchild or family member is hurt or even where the victim is alleged to have won a brand new flat screen TV. Anastos says– always beware.
“If it seems to good to be true,” says Anastos, “it probably is.”