Scam Alerts From The Prosecutor's Office

March 28, 2017

Spring is here and so are the scammers. Of course they work year round, but springtime brings out an increase in their activity that preys on the elderly. The stories I hear of money lost are tragic and the solution is education that needs to come from more than the tragic news reports. I believe in total population immersion in the nature of scams so I am designating April as Prosecutor’s Senior Awareness Month with a description of a number of the most frequent scams and how to protect against them. Media outlets will be free to choose any descriptions on a daily or weekly basis or not at all, but my website (www.butlercountyprosectuor.org) will carry the entire program throughout the month of April. Each scam described will focus on the 4 “C’s” required for a successful scam. These are: Contact, Communication, the Con and the Crime. All scams have these factors as a common thread on how a scam proceeds. The elderly are most at risk. Their generation is one of basic trust in humanity and generally, they have financial resources. The elderly are also more accessible and more likely to be available for contact during the day while scammers are plying their trade.

Lastly, the elderly are often embarrassed by being scammed and often do not report. They worry that someone may think they are no longer capable of handling their own financial affairs so they simply suck it up and take the loss. Scammers are ruthless and work without a sense of guilt. Given a chance, they would scam their own mothers out of their last nickel and blame their mothers for allowing it. Such ruthless acts are made possible by modern technology and can touch someone by phone or computer many thousands of miles away and make it appear that they are a legitimate caller. So, forewarned will be forearmed regarding these heartless criminals. Regrettably, it is the only means available to stop the problem. Of course, prosecutions continue when these criminals are caught, but that is a rare event. The U.S. Attorneys and State Attorney Generals are doing their part by taking down the most sophisticated and widespread operations with excellent results, but the cottage industry of the small timers continues unabated leaving education the only real solution. That is why I am making myself available to any organizations who would like me to come out during lunch or after hours to speak about how to avoid becoming a victim of a scam. To schedule, please call my Community Outreach Director, Susan Monnin, at (513) 887-3471. April also brings the income tax deadline so income tax scams will be the first installment in the series.

Michael T. Gmoser

Butler County Prosecutor

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To report a scam, call our hotline at 1-888-662-3673
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