We are interested in protecting ourselves and our loved ones from fraud, scams, and identity theft. It seems to become more difficult with each technological advancement. While technology is a common way criminals search for victims, there are other methods they may try to get our hard earned cash or access to our personal information. For example, someone says they will fix our roof, then does a partial job and charges us more than originally decided upon or we receive an unsolicited letter saying that we have won the Canadian lottery, but we just have to pay the taxes before we can receive our winnings.
The best defense against fraud and deception is to be well informed. Below are links to websites and documents to help stay up-to-date on current fraud and potential scams and ways to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you believe you or a loved one has been a victim of a scam, fraud, or identity theft, please contact your local authorities.
General Information about Fraud and Scams
- South Dakota Attorney General’s Consumer Protection: Enforces consumer protection laws for the benefit of all South Dakota citizens.
- FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation: Provides tips on how you can protect you and your family from common fraudulent senior citizen schemes.
- Home Instead Senior Care Network: Helping Seniors Stay Safely at Home with a Senior Fraud Protection Kit.
Home Improvement or Home Repair Contractor Fraud
- Home Repair Fraud: This document was developed by University of Illinois Extension and provides additional information about home repair fraud.
Health Care and Medicare Fraud and Scams
- Senior Medicare Patrol: Educating and empowering seniors to prevent health care fraud and abuse.
- How to spot and report Medicare fraud: Official U.S. Government Site for Medicare.
- Health Fraud Scams are Everywhere: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Don’t Be A Victim of Health Fraud Scams: U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Telephone and Telemarketing Fraud and Scams
- Protecting Yourself from Telemarketing Fraud: This guide provides an overview of warning signs that the person on the other end of the phone might be a scam artist.
- Understanding Your Telemarketing Rights: Information to help the consumer understand their rights with regards to telemarketing.
- Do Not Call Registry: The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home.
Investment Fraud and Scams
- South Dakota Securities Division: Protects investors of securities products, franchises and business opportunities by investigating complaints, conducting examinations, enforcing anti-fraud provisions, ensuring investments sold meet standards of full disclosure and providing investor education.
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: A guide specifically for senior citizens to protect themselves from investment fraud.
- U.S. Postal Inspection Service: How to protect against mail theft and fraud and identity theft
- Identity theft: What to know, what to do
- Taking Charge: What to Do if your Identity is Stolen
Internet Fraud and Scams
- Internet Employment Scams: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This is a nice example of a common internet employment scam.
- Fraud and the internet: Online Shopping
- FBI - Internet Fraud Tips: Tips from the FBI to protect yourself and your family from various forms of Internet fraud.
- Online Safety
Disclaimer: The preceding is presented for informational purposes only. SDSU Extension does not endorse the services, methods or products described herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind regarding them.