RALEIGH, N.C. (April 19, 2012) — Over the past year, more than 1,500 senior citizens in eastern North Carolina benefited from Better Business Bureau's Senior Series program. BBB launched the program in April 2011 in an effort to educate seniors about ways to recognize and avoid common scams.
Nationwide, criminals steal billions of dollars each year from senior citizens. Seniors are often targets of scam artists because they generally are more trusting of others and perceived to be easier to persuade. They also typically have more free time and tend to make decisions by themselves.
The most common scams that seniors fall victim to include lottery schemes, financial fraud and charity scams. According to a June 2010 survey by Investor Protection Trust, roughly 20% of seniors aged 65 and older already have been taken advantage of financially, whether through unreasonably high fees for financial services or outright fraud. Seniors often do not realize they have fallen victim to a scam or may avoid telling someone for fear of losing their independence by appearing so vulnerable.
"Knowledge is the best defense against these crimes," said Toby Barfield, president and CEO of BBB serving Eastern North Carolina. "BBB Senior Series allows seniors to not only learn how to spot and avoid scams, but also offers resources that seniors can turn to if they do become a victim."
BBB Senior Series offers resources to aid seniors in identifying and steering clear of scams, and makes presentations in eastern North Carolina to groups of seniors and caregivers to help raise awareness of these dangers. To request materials or to have someone from BBB speak with your group about marketplace issues, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information regarding BBB Senior Series, visit bbbseniors.org.
About BBB serving Eastern North Carolina
Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation serving 33 counties in eastern North Carolina. The organization is funded primarily by BBB Accredited Business fees from more than 3,000 local businesses and professional firms. BBB promotes integrity, consumer confidence and business ethics through business self-regulation in the local marketplace. Services provided by BBB include reports on companies and charitable organizations, general monitoring of advertising in the marketplace, consumer/business education programs and dispute resolution services. All services are provided at no cost to the public, with the occasional exception of mediation and arbitration. Visit bbb.org.
# # #