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Scams and Fraud

Across the nation each year, millions of older adults fall prey to financial scams or fraud. Everyone is at risk, even people without high incomes or assets.

Protect yourself from these crimes by educating yourself through some of the online resources listed below. Visit their websites for safety tips like these:

  • Learn about scams, including those reported in your community.
  • Be skeptical about offers to sell you something you never requested information about in the first place.
  • Don't allow bullying or threats to push you into providing criminals with your sensitive information.
  • Never tell anyone your credit card information, banking details, PIN numbers, Social Security or Medicare card numbers or other personal information unless you know he or she has a legitimate need for that information.

    Avoid Coronavirus Scams Aimed at Older Adults

    Criminals are using the Coronavirus emergency to get older adults' personal identity and financial information and steal money through scams and false information.

    Beware of phone calls, text messages, emails offering "free" masks, testing kits, Covid "cures" or protective equipment. Avoid visitors trying to sell you something, asking for money or offering something "free." You can bet these are scams.

    Criminals out to scam you may push you to tell them personal information, including your name, age, Medicare or Social Security number or bank information. They may falsely claim they represent a special government program with services for seniors, but don't provide verifiable identification that they work for the government. 

    Learn more about Coronavirus scams at the Office of the Attorney General of California.

    To protect yourself and others, report your experience with a scam to the Sonoma County District Attorney's office at (707) 565-5317.

    Learn About or Report Scams

    It's helpful to keep a list of phone numbers and resources so you can quickly to report a scam, including:

    • your local police or sheriff's office business number (not 9-1-1),
    • your district attorney's office (see link below),
    • your bank and your credit card company (if money has been taken from your accounts)
    • and Adult Protective Services.

    Sonoma County Organizations

    Elder Justice Initiative at Senior Advocacy Services
    Watch videos about scam and fraud prevention.

    District Attorney's Office of Sonoma County (707) 565-5317
    Find information about these crimes, scams and identity theft prevention, protection tips and how to report a scam:

    National Organizations

    The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Fraud Watch Network

    The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Frauds and Scams page

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) page on Elder Fraud

    The Federal Trade Commission page on Scam Alerts

    Contact Information

    Adult & Aging Services
    Human Services Department
    In-person Lobby Hours
    Monday – Friday
    8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

    Phone hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday.

    Contact us by Phone
    Address
    3725 Westwind Boulevard
    First Floor
    Santa Rosa, CA 95403
    38.510185, -122.796579

    Adult Protection Hotline

    Call 24/7

    (800) 667-0404 or (707) 565-5940

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    Confidential, Anonymous