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Why scammers like seniors

Seniors are a prime target for scammers. One of the latest scams is where bad guys claim there's a government program in place to help pay your utility bill. All you have to do is pass over your Social Security Number, just a little personal information. And bam! They've got you.

Bill Kreese is director of Center for the Study of Fraud and Corruption at Saint Xavier University in Chicago. He said everyone is a target of scams, but seniors are particularly vulnerable to them because they are less likely to report.

"Seniors have reason not to report, because too often, when a senior tells their family that they've been scammed, too often the family looks at them as 'Well, they're no longer competent to handle their affairs,'" Kreese told host Adriene Hill. He emphasized that getting swindled does not necessarily mean a senior is unable to handle their own affairs.

Take a listen to the audio above to learn about how scammers and fraudsters work and how to avoid them.

About the author

Adriene Hill is a senior multimedia reporter for the Marketplace sustainability desk, with a focus on consumer issues and the individual relationship to sustainability and the environment.
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