Fraud strips more than 7 million Americans of nearly
At a luncheon Thursday at the
"Anybody can be a victim of fraud," Perales said. "Scammers understand human nature. We would all like a lucky day, right? We would all like help with our problems."
However, of those 7 million Americans who are victims of fraud, Iowans more than age 60 are the likeliest target.
A retired woman walked into Perales' office Tuesday in tears, Perales said. She was feeling lonely one day and began corresponding with a gentleman over the internet who promised her a future with him. Thinking she would see him in person in their new life together, she gave him
Loneliness, Perales said, is one the reasons the older demographic is a usual culprit to fraud. He also said older Iowans tend to have the time and money after a life of working hard, they usually have a home phone and will pick it up, and they tend to be more trusting and slower to become angry with others.
Approximately 24 percent of residents in
"Sometimes we can recover money," Goettsch said. "But, a lot of times, the money is gone."
The Iowa Insurance Division scrutinizes and oversees insurance and investment-related undertaking within the state and reports cases to the county attorney,
At the luncheon, Goettsch highlighted the common types of fraud schemes, including the Ponzie scheme, which promises high financial returns or dividends not available through traditional frameworks; investment fraud, which uses false or fraudulent claims to solicit investments or loans, or providing for the purchase, use or trade of forged or counterfeit securities; and
Goettsch and Perales also gave general advice to the audience.
"It's OK to not pick up the phone," Perales said, adding that just answering the phone can provide scammers with an active phone number and name for future schemes.
In a slideshow presentation, Goettsch offered a set of questions one can ask before entering an investment deal with a stranger, and Perales walked through the psychological tactics scammers use to "hook" someone into making hasty decisions.
"Our goal is to get out of
Seniors with concerns about possible fraud involving
Iowa Insurance Division: 877-955-1212
Senior Health Insurance Information Program, or SHIIP: 800-351-4664 or TheRightCallIowa.gov
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