Senior Scams: What to Watch Out For

Coming up on a year ago (April 6th), I attended the Sunnyvale Senior Scam Stopper Seminar hosted by Assembly Member Marc Berman. This seminar focused on helping senior citizens address the following: how to prevent falling for a scam, the resources available to help identify, and avoid scams. There are many different types of scams, from consumer scams to construction scams.

A consumer scam includes a scam from buying items of the internet, in store, on the radio, and in printed ads. One of the aforementioned resources is the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit, it strives to help consumers identify scams and resolve these issues. Any consumer in the Santa Clara County is eligible.

Some tips from the Consumer Protection Unit include:

  • Make sure to keep records of all your purchases, organized by category/date
  • Keep all receipts, correspondence, and other permit documents
  • Keep records of all your purchases, organized by category and date

The senior scams seminar brought awareness to construction scams as well. Which can include: falsifying payments, theft of materials and money, and false representation. To help avoid these scams, here are a few tips:

  • Hire only licensed contractors
  • Get 3 references and reviews of past works
  • Get a written contract and don’t sign anything you don’t understand
  • Pay only 10% or 1,000, whichever is less
  • Avoid paying cash
  • Only make final payment when you are satisfied with the job
  • Make sure everything is in writing

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