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​Community News & Updates

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Fraud Alerts
Senior Fraud Alerts are available on the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services website
North Carolina Department of Justice
Avoid Scams
VETERANS:  Dial Carefully to Avoid This Scam!
This scam exploits the Veterans Choice Program, a government initiative that allows eom vets to use health care providers outside the VA system.  The program has a toll-free telephone number that vets and their families can use to check their eligibility.  Crooks have set up a telelphone number that is almost identical, which they are publicizing in a letter to veterans.  
Vets who call the fake number are told they are entitled to a rebate if they provide a credit card number.  There's no rebate, but charges will be made against the credit card account.  The family of a North Carolina veteran recevied the letter and contacted the Attorney General office about the scam.  Fourtnately they did not fall for it. 
Scammers commonly utilize look-alikes (logos and fonts that are similar to those used by real companies, agencies, and charities) and sound-alikes (names that are similar to the real thing) to trick us.  In this instance, the "hook" is a telephone number that is very close to the actual number. 
If you are a vet, or you are helping a vet access health care, remember:
-Dial Carefully.  The REAL Veterans Choice Program Number is 866-606-8198.
-Hang up.  Not sure you are on the line with the actual Veterans Choice Program?  Hang up and start over. 
-Be skeptical.  No government agency, including the VA, will ask for your personal financial account information in this way.  If the person on the phone does, they may not be who they say they are. 
Home Repair Scams:
  1. Be very skeptical of unsolicited offers for home repairs, especially if the contractor comes to your door and says the job needs to be done right away.
  2. After a disaster, beware of scammers who come to your home posing as government officials or insurance adjusters.  Contact the government agency or your insurance company to verify before you let them inside or have work done.
  3. When you need work done on your home, ask friends for recommendations.  Get written estimates from the contactors you are considering.  Before hiring a contractor, check their references, insurance and license.
    • General contractors - website or call 919-571-4183
    • Electricians - website or call 919-733-9042
    • Plumbers and HVAC - website or call 919-875-3612
  4. When selecting a contractor, get a written agreement that states clearly the exact costs, work to be performed and completion date.
  5. Don't pay before work begins.  Make payments as work is completed.  Never make a final payment until work is complete to your satisfaction.
Investment Scams:
  1. Never agree to invest in or buy something you don't understand.
  2. Read all forms completely, and consult with a trusted professional, such as a lawyer, or an accountant, before you sign anything.
  3. Don't make a quick decision about investment offers or changing insurance policies.  When a loved ones dies, avoid making major financial decisions on purchases right away.
  4. Beware if a salesman says "its a special opportunity but you have to keep it secret" or urges you to "act now" while using phrases like "limited offer", "risk free" or "tax-free offshore investments."
  5. Remember, all investments include some risk and you can't get something for nothing.

Sweepstakes Scam:

  1. Throw away unsolicited lottery or sweepstakes mailing that say you're a winner.  Foreign lotteries are illegal and the checks they send are fake, no matter how real they look.
  2. Never send money to receive a prize, loan or credit card.  It's against the law to require you to pay to receive a prize or to charge an upfront fee for a loan.
  3. Don't be pressured to buy something in order to enter a sweepstakes.  You don't have to buy to enter and buying doesn't increase your chances of winning.
  4. Don't put bank account or Social Security numbers on entry forms for sweepstakes or other contests. 
Telemarketing Scams:
  1. Place your home and cell phone numbers on the Do Not Call registry at 1-888-382-1222 or website to cut down on unwanted telemarketing calls.
  2. Never give out important numbers like your bank account, credit card or Social Security number to anyone who calls you. 
  3. Beware of scammers who call pretending to be a member of your family.  They may claim to face an emergency while traveling and ask you to send money.
  4. Your phone's Caller ID feature can be manipulated.  Scammers can make it appear that your bank, a charity, a government office, etc., is calling.  

 If you are contacted by a scammer, report it to the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM (1-877-5-66-1386) or by

filing a complaint online.






Identity Theft


If you become a victim of identity theft, there are ways to recover your good credit rating.  First, report the identity theft to Social Security's Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271.   Then, report it to the Federal Trade Commission's ID Theft Hotline, 1-877-IDTHEFT.  You also should contact the three major credit bureaus, tell them you're an identity theft victim and ask them to place a fraud alert on your records. 
The Credit bureaus are:
Also, write your creditors and ask them to contact you before opening any new accounts in your name or changing existing accounts or credit limits.   
Protect Your Number and Records
Keep your Social Security number and card in a safe place.  If a business or other enterprise asks you for your Social Security number, you can refuse to give it to them.  However, that may mean doing without the purchase or service for which your number was requested.  For example, utility companies and other services ask for your Social Security number, but do not need it; they can do a credit check or identify their customers by alternative means. 
Giving your number is voluntary even when you are asked for the number directly.  If requested, you should ask:
  • why your number is needed;
  • how your number will be used;
  • what happens if you refuse; and
  • what law requires you to give your number.
The answers to these questions can help you decide if you want to give your Social Security number.  The decision is yours.




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