Senior Fraud on the Rise in Cenla - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Senior Fraud on the Rise in Cenla

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ALEXANDRIA, La. - Law enforcement agencies tell us scams that target the elderly are on the rise here in Cenla. News Channel Five's Nolan Crane shows us what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Christina Goynes is the owner of home instead, a local business that takes care of elderly people and she says some of her clients have become victims of scams-- that promise them the world for a small fee.

"We have clients that have been victims of senior fraud and the care givers have been there to really help and let the families know and be aware of that," says Christina Goynes.

Goynes' employees do all that they can to protect their clients from making a mistake; she says she abides by the old rule, 'if it looks to good to be true, it probably is.'

"Checking some of their mail, going through that to see if there is anything that looks fishy and whats legit? Kind of screening their phone calls for telemarketers that might be trying to have them send in money," says Christina Goynes.

Rapides Parish Sheriff's Officers say reports of scams are on the rise.

"One or two complaints a week about some type of financial scam, people being called on the phone, they receive mail, they even receive faxes to their residents or to there business about some way to get rich quick," says Tommy Carnline.

Even Lieutenant Carnline has been contacted by scammers trying to take advantage of him.

"Just this week I received a fax from a subject saying that he was the son of the president of Ghana and he was soliciting money and wanting to have assistance with his money," says Tommy Carnline.

This type of illegal behavior has also reached Vernon Parish.

"It involves some type of pyramid scheme or a ponzi scheme," says Sheriff Sam Craft.

Both sheriffs' departments say that the easiest way to avoid the scams is using common sense.

"You have to be careful whenever you're getting information about free money or money for nothing. There is nothing free in this life," says Tommy Carnline.

"Don't give out any of your pertinent information to the individuals doing this calling," says Sam Craft.

For a list of the top 15 ways to avoid being scammed, as well as other scams that are hitting our area you can visit this link. http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/advice/20021025c.asp

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