Laurens County Sheriff Addresses Scams Targeting Seniors at Martha Franks Retirement Community

June 5, 2024

Sheriff Don Reynolds recently visited the Martha Franks Retirement Community to raise awareness about the various scams that often target senior citizens. His presentation highlighted the importance of recognizing and avoiding these fraudulent schemes.

“Too often, scammers prey on senior citizens, and it is crucial to be aware of their tactics,” Sheriff Reynolds stated. “If you’re ever in doubt about calls you receive that don’t sound quite right, give us a call, and we will check into it.”

Sheriff Reynolds outlined several common scams, emphasizing the need for vigilance:

Targeting Seniors: Government Imposter Scams

Scammers often pose as government officials from the IRS, Medicare, or other entities. They claim that if the victim doesn’t pay or provide personal information, something bad will happen. These fraudsters leverage fear to extract money and sensitive data.

Romance Scams

In these scams, criminals adopt fake online identities to gain a victim’s affection and trust. Once they have established a romantic relationship, they manipulate and steal from the victim under the guise of love and care.

Emergency/Person-in-Need Scams

These scams typically target parents, grandparents, or other family members. The scammer pretends to be a relative in trouble, urging the victim to wire money immediately to assist with an emergency. The sense of urgency often leads victims to act without verifying the situation.

Lottery & Sweepstakes Scams

Victims receive calls, emails, or letters claiming they have won a sweepstakes, lottery, or prize. The scammer then asks for money or account information to release the prize. However, once the victim pays, they discover there is no prize, and their money is gone.

Sheriff Reynolds emphasized that at least 10% of senior citizens in the United States fall victim to financial scams each year. “Never give your information to someone you don’t know, and when in doubt, call us,” he advised.

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office remains committed to protecting its residents, with several presentations made throughout the county to educate and safeguard the senior population from these pervasive threats. Sheriff Reynolds’s visit to the Martha Franks Retirement Community is part of this ongoing effort. If other groups are interested in scheduling the Sheriff to speak, they should contact Courtney Snow at [email protected] or 864-681-4509.