TN Attorney General’s Office issues vital scam prevention tips for 2024 amid concerns for elderly

Published 1:28 pm Friday, December 29, 2023

FROM STAFF REPORTS
NASHVILLE (AP) — With the onset of 2024, Tennessee’s Attorney General’s Office Division of Consumer Affairs advises residents to remain vigilant against scams, especially targeting the elderly.
The office highlights crucial tips to prevent falling victim to scams:
Beware of Bogus Debt Collectors: If contacted about unrecognized debt and the caller refuses to provide validating information, such as the collection company’s details, hang up. Avoid responding to threats or sharing personal financial information. To verify legitimacy, request a mailed debt validation letter or visit https://verify.tn.gov to ensure the collection company holds a Tennessee Collection Service Board license.
Use Verified Customer Service Contacts: When reaching out to customer service for businesses like PayPal, ensure you use official contact details. Beware of imposters claiming to represent well-known retailers requesting credit card information or access to your computer. Contact the company directly through trusted channels if you suspect an issue.
Scrutinize Online Offers: Exercise caution with enticing online offers. Verify the authenticity of websites, especially those offering products or services that seem too good to be true. Investigate claims thoroughly before making any commitments.
Avoid Unusual Payment Methods: Government agencies and legitimate businesses do not demand payment via gift cards, cryptocurrency, or wire transfers. Any insistence on these methods for claiming prizes, settling debts, making purchases, or evading arrest is indicative of a scam.
Thoroughly Research Contractors: Refrain from hastily hiring contractors who approach or advertise services. Verify contractors’ licenses through https://verify.tn.gov, obtain multiple bids, check for complaints against companies with licensing boards, the Division of Consumer Affairs, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Avoid large upfront payments or cash transactions.
Exercise Caution in Financial Transactions with Strangers: Be wary of requests for financial assistance or offers promising lucrative investments from individuals you’ve only interacted with online. Take time to discuss such scenarios with trusted individuals before committing.
For additional resources on combating scams, visit the Division of Consumer Affairs website at www.tn.gov/consumer. Consumers can also receive alerts and report scams through the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website at www.consumer.ftc.gov.

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