Scammers Targeting Seniors this Holiday Season

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Scams can happen to anyone at any time, but seniors often find themselves more of a target. 

A local assistant living community is hoping to help avoid all that.

“I shop a lot during the holidays, but I shop all the time,” said Margaret Hammeren, Bismarck resident.  

Hammeren is 74-years-old and spends most of her time shopping online. 

“I  am very careful and if I order something that is not exactly what I expected, then that’s my mistake. It’s not a scam,” Hammeren said. 

But not everyone is as fortunate as Margaret to know how to identify a scammer, especially since the National Council on Aging,  considers senior scams as the most common “Crime of the 21st Century.”

When it comes to scammers, the Better Business Bureau says its important to be prepared.  People should pay attention to phony charities, free gift cards, especially grandparent scams. Where people pose as family members in need. 

Assistant Executive Director at Edgewood Vista, Tiffany Boehm, says it happens daily with the seniors. 

“I think with our elderly population people take advantage of the situation, especially if there is any memory loss or that they do not have family members close by. So, it’s important for people to care and to be involved to help them protect their identity,” Boehm said. 

Which is why they are doing their best to stop it.

“We do have shopping days here. We take them out on different outings throughout the town to visit our local retailers. So, they have a variety of different choices a couple days a week,” Boehm said. 

As for Hammeren, she will now limit the amount she spends online to one sitting because scammers are always on the lookout. 

Another tip to avoid scams, don’t give out personal information if it seems suspicious. 

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