Crawford officials warn against elderly scams

Staff report

Over the last several weeks, the Crawford County Prosecutor’s Office has filed several cases involving persons taking advantage of our elderly population. The cases involved contractors not completing the promised work or individuals using business to gain access to elderly persons’ homes.

According to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the most common scams involving seniors are:

* Advance Fee Loans

* Credit Repair Scams

* Fake Check Scams

* Foreclosure Rescue Scams

* Grandparent Scams

* Home Improvement Fraud

* Identity Theft

* Living Trust Scams

* Investment Fraud

* Phony Charities

* Predatory Lending

* Prizes/Sweepstake Fraud

* Reverse Mortgage Abuse

* Sale of Annuities

* Work at Home Business Opportunity Ploys

“These predators, unfortunately, take advantage of our most vulnerable citizens who are lonely or have begun to feel the effects of aging physically, mentally, or emotionally,” Crall said. “Often these victims’ embarrassment keep them from contacting law enforcement or an attorney to safeguard their rights.”

In order to report a crime, please contact your local law enforcement agency. The County Prosecutor’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office, may also be of assistance. The Crawford County Council on Aging exists to help senior citizens and are a resource to help seniors.

Contractors are often required to be registered if you live inside city limits. If they are going door to door, the person should have a permit. Not every situation is a crime which may instead involve filing a claim in Municipal Court – Small Claims Division whele an attorney is not required. Certain situations may require seeking the advice of a private attorney.

“The best defense is being on guard to protect yourself or your loved ones. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If a person makes you feel uncomfortable or makes you feel that you have to let them into your home, they may not be legitimate. My best advice is to follow your intuition and check with a friend or loved one before you give anyone money,” said Crall. “Making a phone call or sending a letter or email may save you from Prosecutor Crall. “Making a phone call or sending a letter or email may save you from becoming a victim.”

Staff report

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