News

New Fraud Alert issued by the York County Elder Abuse Task Force

Periodically, members of the York County District Attorney’s office who prosecute devastating financial crimes will offer warnings about the latest financial scams targeting seniors here in York County.

Educating seniors about financial fraud is a top priority of the York County Elder Abuse Task Force. With that in mind, we want every senior in York County to remember the 3 Rs: Recognize a potential scam; Refuse to make any hasty decisions; and Report suspicious activity to police.

Stay safe and feel free to contact the District Attorney’s Office (717-771-9600) with any questions. 
     Dave Sunday
     District Attorney

February 2018 FRAUD ALERT – FTC Refund Schemes

The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, is an independent government agency focused on protecting consumers from anti-competitive, deceptive, and unfair business practices.  The FTC works to halt illegal business practices and provide refunds to people who have lost money.  In fact, the FTC sent 6.28 million consumers refund checks as a result of shady business practices between July 2016 and June 2017.  However, some scammers have tried to get access to your money by claiming to be with the FTC.

Scammers will attempt to contact you by phone call, email, text, or even fax claiming to be a member of the FTC.  In that communication, they will say they are reaching out to you about giving you prize winnings, grants, or refunds.  They may also say that you are in trouble and need to pay delinquent accounts or fees.  They will then ask you to send them money or ask you to give them your bank account number so they can deposit money.

Regardless of the scenario, remember that the FTC will never contact you to ask about payment.  Instead, the FTC will either send you a check or claim form with details about why you may be entitled to money.  The FTC also keeps a list of cases that result in consumer refunds on their website at ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/refunds.  If you have questions about a check or a claims form, you can call the number associated with the case listed on the FTC website.

Sometimes the scammers won’t stop at saying they are with the FTC.  At times, they may use a list of people or organizations that you trust.  It can be confusing to differentiate between a legitimate organization and imposters, but there are often key details that can keep you from getting scammed.  Pay attention to not only what the person is telling you, but how they may be asking for money.  No government organization will ask you to pay by wiring them money; utilizing gift cards, such as iTunes; or putting money on a MoneyPak, Vanilla Reload, or Reloadit card.  By paying close attention, you can keep you and your family from being scammed.

For more information, visit ftc.gov/faq/consumer-protection.  If you find a scam, report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC–HELP.