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Charity Scams In Malaysia Targetting Senior Citizens

May 25, 2008
There are a lot of scam being perpetrated not only in Malaysia but also around the world. Comparatively, this country is exposed to more scams compared to a lot of other countries, especially developed ones. The famous scam artists are the well known Nigerians. They will tell you they have treasures locked up in their country and you can have a piece of the action by depositing a small sum. That small sum can run into the hundreds of thousands. I am sure a lot of you have heard that one. The other favorite is that they have a chemical that can wash black notes to become legitimate US notes. You would have to pay a bomb for that chemical.

A lot of money is being lost everyday to scam thieves. This money could otherwise be used to help the many charity organizations in Malaysia. As it is, some charities are finding it hard to raise funds for their daily operations.

Senior citizens are a favorite target of both legitimate charities, and scam artists. Some say this is because seniors tend to be more trusting of other people, and in general, more polite to strangers. Unfortunately, these excellent qualities are often exploited.

Seniors, like many others, hesitate to call the authorities when they have been cheated because they are embarrassed. If this sounds like you, or someone you love, you are far from being alone. The Federal Trade Commission reports that people over 60 are a frequent target of telephone scams. Reporting scams can mean putting the perpetrators out of business and saving your neighbor from becoming the next victim.

Here is what one fraud attorney advises to help people of all ages avoid being victimized by fraudsters:

1. Remember, scam artists prey on your emotions, such as patriotism. Before you agree to help an individual or a charity, take the time to find out what you are getting into. If the need is legitimate, they will be willing to call back after you have had time to think.

2. Always ask questions. Find out what options are available. For example, if a caller told you that you have won something, will they confirm it in writing? Will they provide a phone number so you can call them back?

3. Do not feel you have to be courteous. If someone calls or comes to your door asking about your finances, feel free to hang up or shut the door in their faces. After all, finances are very personal.

4. If you are recently widowed, you may be target of some scam artists who are hoping that your knowledge and experience with finances is limited. Again, your finances are very personal. If there is something you do not understand, call your local senior center and ask for help from a financial counselor.

5. Keep track of our own finances at all times. It is easy to allow someone else to do it for you, but unless you are completely sure that the person can be trusted, you are playing with fire.

6. You should know that most victims of fraud report that the reason they believed the frauds was because the person seemed so nice. That is how they get in the door, especially for seniors who may be lonely and have limited contact with other people.

If a call comes in which you suspect is a scam, the police advise that you should just hang up. Then notify your police department.

If you are concerned about a senior citizen in your life being the target of a charity scam, here are some warning signs,

a. Do they get frequent calls and letters requesting donations? If so, they are probably on a list of willing donors.

b. Has the senior made a lot of donations to an obscure charity you have never heard of?

c. Is the senior experiencing trouble paying for their monthly expenses, even though they have not had a change in income to justify it?

If you suspect there has been fraud, go and lodge a police report at the nearest station.

Here are some possible scenarios of scams that target senior citizens,

1. Thieves scan obituaries looking for names of recent widows, particularly those who live alone. The caller claims to be a representative from the Welfare Department, or from a credit card company, bank, or credit bureau, seeking to help the widow settle her financial affairs. In the process, they ask or phishing for personal financial information such as account and identification numbers.

2. Scam artists can call seniors offering assistance to help them enroll in the new prescription drug benefit plan. To receive help, the senior must provide personal identification information which the callers then use to steal assets.

3. A couple can approach elderly women who are getting in their cars. They tell her that her car is leaking gas, but of course, the man can fix this very dangerous condition. Once they have her trust, they steal from her.

Elderly citizens in Malaysia should be aware of charity scams operating in various parts of the country. This should prevent their hard earned money from falling into the hands of unscrupulous individuals. They may even donate their money to deserving charitable organizations in Malaysia.
About the Author
Francis Suggest Charity Malaysiais the No.1 Malaysia's Fund Raising Portal in Malaysia. The leading charity organization in Malaysia. Visit http://www.charitymalaysia.com
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