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Use the ’24-hour’ rule to help prevent your mother from getting scammed

Posted at 7:59 AM, May 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-07 08:14:48-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va - At the Chesterfield County Triad's 16th annual Senior Day, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring spoke to a crowd of senior citizens about why scammers tend to target the elderly and how to protect themselves from becoming a victim.  Using online resources, con-artists can quickly and effectively develop a target, consumer experts said.

Herring warned that modern criminals can be very convincing.  Herring advised the crowd to use what he called the "24-hour rule" if they received a suspicious call, letter or email.

"Don't do anything for 24-hours.  Call a family member, and if you have a question about whether it's legit, call local law enforcement.  You can call our office," Herring said.

If you or a loved one suspect you've been contacted by scammers, report your experience to the Virginia Attorney General Office calling the consumer complaint hotline at 1-800-552-9963.  The Better Business Bureau of Richmond has a specific senior fraud hotline, 804-780-0248.

Consumer advocates said one of the best prevention methods is when potential victims talk about their experiences with law enforcement, family, and friends.