Incidence of Elder Fraud on the Rise in the United States - More than Five Million Seniors Fall Victim Every Year; New Guide from Capital One and Consumer Action Helps Seniors Spot Scams and Fight Back
MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 31, 2005--More than five million elderly people are victimized by financial fraud each year according to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. As millions of baby boomers quickly approach retirement age, elder fraud is a growing concern in the United States. With this in mind, leading financial services provider Capital One (NYSE:COF) and national consumer advocacy group Consumer Action have developed a free new guide, Just Say No to Senior Scams. The guide offers tips seniors can use to spot and protect themselves from scams and is part of the Capital One-Consumer Action MoneyWi$e financial education series.
"Senior citizens aged 60 and older comprise 15 percent of the U.S. population, yet they are estimated to make up 30 percent - nearly one-third - of fraud victims," said Linda Sherry of Consumer Action. "Consumer Action and Capital One developed Just Say No to Senior Scams to help seniors identify common schemes used by thieves and also take steps to protect themselves and their assets."
The brochure includes information on:
- Guarding your assets
- Identifying crooked schemes
- Protecting yourself from scams
The guide also offers helpful resources and links to organizations seniors can contact if they or someone they know has been a victim of fraud.
"The number of scams designed to take advantage of consumers, especially seniors, is increasing," Diana Don Colby, Director of Financial Education at Capital One noted. "Seniors can avoid financial exploitation by protecting their personal information including credit card, bank account and Social Security numbers."
Here are a few other ways that seniors can protect themselves:
- Never assume strangers who claim to represent a deserving
organization will put your money towards a good purpose
- Never sign contracts that have blank lines in them; someone
may later add clauses that could harm you or your assets
- Don't give in to high-pressure sales tactics
- Never be afraid to ask questions about where your money is going and how it will be used.
Just Say No to Senior Scams is part of the MoneyWi$e series, a national financial literacy partnership between Capital One and Consumer Action. It is the first program of its kind to combine free, multilingual financial education materials with community training and seminars to give consumers at all income levels both the information and the practical assistance they need to make smart financial decisions. You can access the Just Say No to Senior Scams guide online at www.money-wise.org or by sending a self-addressed legal-size envelope with 60 cents postage to Consumer Action Senior Scams, 717 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103. Please specify which language version is desired: English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean or Vietnamese.
About Capital One
Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation (http://www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank, Capital One, F.S.B. and Capital One Auto Finance, Inc. offer a variety of consumer lending products. Capital One's subsidiaries collectively had 49.2 million accounts and $84.8 billion in managed loans outstanding as of September 30, 2005. Capital One is a Fortune 500 company and, through its subsidiaries, is one of the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 500 index.
About Consumer Action
Consumer Action is a national non-profit education and advocacy organization founded in San Francisco in 1971. Consumer Action serves consumers nationwide by advancing consumer rights, referring consumers to complaint-handling agencies and publishing multilingual educational materials. Consumer Action also advocates for consumers in the media and before lawmakers and annually conducts comparison surveys for consumers on credit cards, banking issues and telecommunications issues.
CONTACT: Capital One Financial Corporation
Alison Athay, 206-239-0140
SOURCE: Capital One Financial Corporation