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Newton Police educate seniors about fraud

NEWTON, NC – Senior citizens in the Newton community are learning from the Newton Police Department how to spot scams and how to protect themselves from identity theft and fraud. Officer Jeff Longstreet on July 23 hosted an Identity Theft, Fraud and Scams program at retirement community Abernethy Laurels and will continue to offer the program at the facility and area churches.

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, financial crimes – fraud, scams, identity theft and healthcare fraud – are the number one crime committed against senior citizens. Senior citizens make up 37 percent of telemarketing victims.

Types of fraud and scams to look out for are telemarketing, charitable giving schemes, international lotteries, home repairs, identity theft, investor fraud, internet fraud, credit cards and Medicare and Medicaid fraud by medical providers and suppliers.

Officer Longstreet offered tips and advice on how to keep your information safe. He urged the program participants to be wary of any offers that seem too good to be true. Other ways to protect yourself include keeping an eye on your bank accounts and other financial assets, do not share any personal information with people you don’t know unless you initiate the contact, and shred documents such as credit card offers that have your personal information printed on it.

If you suspect fraud, contact the Newton Police Department immediately. Anyone with questions or concerns regarding fraud, scams and identity theft should contact Officer Jeff Longstreet at the Newton Police Department at 828-465-7430.