Consumer Scams and How to Report Them

Consumer Scams and How to Report Them

Grandparent Scam:

The “Grandparent Scam” has been around for several years and continues to impact seniors across the country. There are many variations but the basic plot is simple: a senior is called by someone who says, “It’s your grandson (or granddaughter) and I’m in trouble. I need money (to get out of jail, to get home, etc.). I’m embarrassed, so don’t tell Mom (or Dad, or anyone).” The senior is instructed to wire money to a “friend” who will give the money to the "grandchild."

The “Grandparent Scam” has operated successfully to bilk millions of dollars from thousands of victims. The video above about this scam was created by The Consumer Federation of America and Western Union.

Brochure: Protect Yourself from Common Consumer Scams

By: The Consumer Law Project for Elders

Download the brochure to learn about:

  • What a scam is
  • Why seniors are frequent targets of scams
  • Who the scammers are
  • What the most common scams are
  • What you can do to prevent becoming a victim of a scam
  • Who to contact if you are a victim of a scam

Who can you contact if you are a victim of a scam:

The Consumer Law Project for Elders (CLPE). 1-800-296-1467.  The CLPE provides free legal assistance to Connecticut residents 60 and over who have consumer problems.

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP).  The DCP is a state government agency that protects people from scams, unfair businesses and unsafe products. Visit their website.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  The CFPB accepts complaints about financial products including mortgages and other loans, credit and debit cards, credit reports and more.  The CFPB provides consumers with individual complaint assistance.  www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint  

U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging - Fraud Hotline (toll free).  Report suspected fraud and receive assistance. 1-855-303-9470 http://www.aging.senate.gov/fraud-hotline

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  The FTC maintains a scam alert page where you can browse reported scams by topic, get practical tips, and get scam alerts by email.   http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).  The IC3 accepts cyber crime compliants from private citizens and industry.  These complaints are referred to law enforcement agencies for investigation and prosecution. www.IC3.gov

 MEDICARE AND OTHER HEALTH CARE RELATED SCAMS:

     Connecticut's Senior Medicare Patrol Program. 1-800-994-9422

     Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 1-800-633-4227