Elderly, rural residents warned to be wary of telemarketers

Older Nebraskans and their families are being warned about deceptive telemarketing schemes.
Linda Hildreth, an advocate for the elderly, says older Nebraskans who’ve been scammed out of money may be too embarrassed or ashamed to let family members know, especially those seniors in remote, rural areas.
“A lot of older individuals can be isolated, so when they do get somebody calling them on the phone, they’re kind of excited to have conversation,” Hildreth said. “And these (telemarketers) are trained. They know how to play on people’s sympathies and use whatever they’re so-called weaknesses or vulnerabilities are.”
Hildreth encourages Nebraskans to contact the authorities if they need help with an elderly family member who may be targeted.
“If you suspect something, we’d rather have you call us and find out there’s nothing to it…but unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there who perpetrate on older victims and persons with disabilities,” Hildreth said.
Some of the warning signs that an older person may be a fraud victim include; receiving a lot of junk mail for contests or sweepstakes, frequent calls from strangers asking for charitable contributions or if they’re receiving cheap items in the mail such as pens and pencils, small appliances, jewelry or beauty products.