Consumer Fraud & Scams
If someone contacts you through email asking you to send them money via Western Union, forward the emails to firstname.lastname@example.org
Protect yourself from Fraud
Only use Western Union for sending money to friends and Family. You should NOT proceed with your transaction if it's:
- for an emergency situation you have not personally confirmed
- to someone you personally don't know or have only met online
- for an internet purchase
- for an employment opportunity
- to claim lottery or prize winnings
- for a rental property
- for a credit card or loan fee
- from a check deposited in your account until it clears which can take weeks
Remember, a money transfer can be paid out to the receiver within a short time and after the money is paid, you cannot obtain a refund from Western Union, even if the transfer was the result of fraud. If you believe you may be a victim of fraud, call the WESTERN UNION FRAUD HOTLINE number at 800-448-1492. For more information on how to recognize and protect yourself from fraud visit: http://www.westernunion.com/stopfraud. The Information for this section was provided by Western Union with permission.
Financial Abuse and Scams
Links below were provided to us by Deputy District Attorney Hoang, Insurance Fraud Division, San Diego County District Attorney's Office. If you think you or your senior loved one has been a victim of financial fraud or a scam, contact the San Diego County District Attorney's Office at (619) 685-6535. The underlined terms take you directly to that website.
California Department of Insurance: Helpful materials on insurance products including life, annuity, health and long-term care.
File a Complaint with Department of Insurance: There is also a CONSUMER HOTLINE for suspected financial crimes related to life insurance or annuity products. Consumer Hotline is (800) 927-4357.
California Department of Corporations
This agency has educational materials, resources and publications directing you to federal, state, county and private consumer groups and agencies.
Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP)
This agency can inform and assist the consumer in understanding your health insurance options both for medical care and long-term care. There is a State office and a San Diego County office. San Diego County's office is staffed with professionals and trained volunteers, offering you a valued resource for explaining the ins and outs of insurance coverage. The HICAP professionals are as good as you can find anywhere!
San Diego County District Attorney's (DA) Office
This office has aggressive attorneys who vigorously prosecute cases of financial abuse, scams and fraud. The DA's office has many web-based resources providing information and tips on how to protect you and yours against financial crimes.
Safe Seniors: This site explains elder abuse, signs of abuse, and important numbers to call if you suspect elder abuse, or are a victim of elder abuse. This site also gives a Hotline number and complaint form to the California Department of Justice Elder Abuse Hotline. These law enforcement offices work for you, so don't be shy about calling and reporting abuse.
Alerts and Advisories: At this site you will learn what the current scams and frauds are in the community. This is an especially important link, as many scams and frauds target seniors. Don't let it happen to you - stay informed.
Identity Theft: This link connects you to a description of what identity theft is, and if you've been a victim - what to do about it.
Consumer Protection: Consumer Protection tips, resources, newsletters are available at this site. San Diego seniors are frequently victims of fraudulent and unfair business practices. The information on this site will go a long way to protect you and your money.
Real Estate Fraud: Selling your home is stressful under the best of conditions; don't let fraudulent real estate scams rob you of your income, or your future housing plans. San Diego County DA's office has a staff of experienced attorneys who actively prosecute real estate fraud. If you suspect you or a family member has been a victim of a real estate scam, contact this office sooner, not later.
Better Business Bureau If you're in the market for having your home enhanced with ramps, rails, walk-in showers - modifications which will help you live longer and independently at home don't sign a contract before you check out the contractor at the Better Business Bureau of San Diego and Imperial Counties. A quick call to the BBB could save you lots of money, and months of grief. Make sure you're dealing with a reputable contractor in the county.