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Wall Street Journal ...

Posted Jun 23 2009 6:54pm

Wall Street Journal
WSJ Research

Scam Stoppers

Steps to take if a loved one is being targeted by direct-mail or telemarketing fraudsters. The behaviors will need to be monitored and changes will need to be made to protect them.

  • Try to be supportive instead of judgmental or critical.  Let them know it could happen to anyone.
  • Make sure cellphones and landlines are registered on the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry at DoNotCall.gov.  Let any unwanted callers know you do not want to be on their calling lists.
  • Create  prewritten scripts for telemarketing calls such as “I am very busy right now and cannot talk. Thank you for calling”.  Keep them right by the phone and easy to find.
  • If scammers are persistent, you may need to change your loved ones phone number. Consider having all mail go to a post office box or a relatives so that both victim and their advocate can go through the mail together.
  • The AARP foundation offers advice and support via it’s Fraud Fighter Call Center at 1-800-646-2283
  • Gather all scam material in an envelope marked “Forward to Postal Inspector – suspected mail fraud and put it in your mailbox.  No postage is needed.
  • Help the victim find activities to fill the time that was spent taking to scammers and opening mail.
  • Please be patient.  Changing behavior takes time.
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