Crime prevention and personal safety information for older Americans
According to the Consumer Law Center, Inc. (CLC), Americans lose an estimated $40 billion each year to the fraudulent sale of goods and services over the telephone. The elderly are frequent targets of telemarketing frauds and sweepstakes scams. Studies conducted by CLC reveal that “fraudulent telemarketers direct anywhere from 56 percent to nearly 80 percent of their calls at older customers. One sweepstakes-related scam detailed on CBS’s 60 Minutes reportedly bilked seniors in 24 states out of an estimated $5 billion.”
The National Crime Prevention Council is working to design, implement, promote, and evaluate a strategic approach to prevent telemarketing fraud and related crimes against seniors by promoting awareness and action on preventive strategies by senior consumers, law enforcement, and other community resources.
NCPC's work with seniors is at the initial stages. Check back periodically for more information on the following:
- Conduct research on the attitudes and awareness of seniors about telemarketing fraud and scams to identify trends, opinions, and messages that will move seniors to take the action to reduce or avoid risks. The research will examine issues as older Americans see them, particularly their worries and fears and their issues with respect to preserving their financial health.
- Devise a media campaign to include public service advertising featuring McGruff the Crime Dog and matte features focused on fraud prevention
- Identify examples of prevention practices, resources, and successes from within the network of the Crime Prevention Coalition of America and other partner organizations
- Provide senior consumers with online telemarketing prevention resources and tips and the opportunity to request additional tips via a periodic e-bulletin and fact sheets
- Develop, implement, and promote training and related tools for law enforcement working with seniors
- Develop telemarketing fraud and scam prevention-focused partnerships with law enforcement organizations, federal agencies, and nonprofit groups serving seniors, building a network of linked prevention resources
Related Brochures (Adobe PDF format)
For further information, download Topics in Crime Prevention: Working With Older Americans (PDF).