I-TEAM: Scams Target Elderly

Decatur – A senior citizen in Macon County recently found himself out $50,000 after a fake Publishers Clearing House scam.  A second senior lost $20,000 trying to free young women from slavery in Puerto Rico.  It was also a con.  Neither victim is expected to get their money back. 

Macon County Sheriff Tom Schneider urges seniors or their families to contact his office if they have questions concerning potential efforts to take advantage of the elderly through fraud.

“I'd rather be inundated with calls then to have somebody send off thousands of dollars and wipe themselves out when it comes to the savings they worked so hard for,” Sheriff Schneider told WAND       I-TEAM reporter Doug Wolfe. 

IRS scams have also been growing in frequency.  A caller will leave a message claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service.  When the victim calls back a fake agent will demand immediate payment of large sums of money or face a lawsuit and arrest.  In reality, the IRS does not call people. 

“It's intimidation,” Schneider stated.  “It's what we see a lot of times when it comes to these types of scams.”

Macon County has an Elder Fraud Hotline.  The number is 217-615-7582.  Sheriff Schneider urges people to call it to be on the safe side.

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