With a population of approximately 1 million seniors over 60 years of age in Virginia, the Commonwealth’s TRIAD partnership is focused on increasing awareness of scams and frauds targeting the aging. Juanita Balenger, Community Outreach & TRIAD Director for the Northern Virginia Regional Office, recently visited Ashby Ponds retirement community to speak about senior fraud, crime, and victimization prevention.
The TRIAD partnership in Virginia, through the Office of the Attorney General, aims to strengthen communication between the law enforcement and seniors in their communities, as well as educating seniors about the resources available to help. At Ashby Ponds last week, Balenger shared some tips and tactics with residents on how to protect oneself:
- Shred all material with personal information
- Limit personal information on checks
- Find a safe place to keep financial statements
- Do not provide personal/financial information to anyone who initiates the request
- Take all receipts provided from ATMs, etc.
- Limit access to your social security number
- Be sure you receive the statements or credits cards you are expecting in the mail
- When conducting online transactions, be sure the web address is secure (https://)
Balenger also shared a list of the top ten scams targeting seniors:
10) Calls from individuals pretending to be a grandchild needing financial help
9) Sweepstakes or lottery winnings scams
8) Homeowner or reverse mortgage scams
7) Investment fraud including pyramid schemes and affinity scams
6) Internet fraud
5) Telemarketing scams
4) The sale of fraudulent anti-aging products
3) Funeral/cemetary scams
2) The sale of counterfeit prescription drugs
1) Health care, Medicare, and insurance fraud
Balenger stressed the importance of notification if you believe you’ve been the victim of a scam: alert friends and family, notify financial providers, place a fraud alert with credit bureaus, file a police report, and contact the Attorney General’s office for assistance.
For more information about TRIAD, visit http://www.oag.state.va.us/
About Ashby Ponds: Ashby Ponds, one of 16 retirement communities managed by Erickson Living, is situated on a scenic 132-acre campus in Ashburn, Virginia (approximately 30 miles west of Washington, D.C.). The community is home to over 700 residents and is filled with fascinating people and fantastic opportunities. With over 100 resident-run and resident-driven clubs and groups, an indoor pool, a fitness club, transportation services, 24-hour security, and flexible dining options, life at Ashby Ponds offers a true sense of community and is an exciting alternative to the typical retirement community. More information about Ashby Ponds can be found at: www.ericksonliving.com.