TRIAD Tips & Contacts
TRIAD is a cooperative effort of law enforcement agencies (police, fire, and sheriffs), senior citizens, and senior organizations, focused on reducing crimes against seniors in our communities. Our Gloucester branch of TRIAD has been active since 1998. The goal of TRIAD is to reduce the fear of crime and victimization among seniors by increasing awareness of scams and frauds that target them, strengthening communication between law enforcement and senior communities, and educating seniors on local and state resources that are available in their community. For our locality, this goal is accomplished through speaking engagements, community collaborations, and targeted training for seniors and law enforcement professionals.
Refuse to Be a Victim - Steps to Prevent Fraud
Manage Your Phone
- Con artists target seniors by telephone.
- Ignore telephone, mail surveys, and nosey warranty card questions. Ignore raffles, contest, and prize offers.
- Never pay for a prize over the phone.
- Never give out personal information (medicare number, social security number, credit card information, bank account, etc.) over the phone unless you initiate the call.
- Don't agree to any offers unless you see it in writing. Ask the company to mail you information.ADD your name to the Federal Trade Commission's National "Do Not Call" registry at 888-382-1222. For TTY, dial 866-290-4236. You can also register online.
- If you receive telemarketing phone calls, just hang up!
Tear it Up
- Discard any offers you receive in the mail that are from sweepstakes or lotteries. If it sounds too good to be true, it is! There is no such thing as getting free money in the mail!
- Be wary of flashy envelopes or personalized letters. Companies spend millions on mailing that appeal to the consumer.
- Mail bills and important documents at the post office: never put them in your mailbox for your postal carrier to pick up.
- If you are told to act immediately or cash a check immediately, tear up all the papers and throw them away. It's a scam!
- Check out charities before you write that check! Go to GuideStar or Give.org to check out that non-profit. You can also check with the Central Virginia Better Business Bureau Elder Fraud Unit by calling 804-780-2222.
- Shred any mail that has personal identifying information on it.
Don’t Open You Door
- Be leary of door-to-door sales representatives offering free or low-cost products or services.
- Never let a salesman into your home, particularly if you are alone.
- Never let others see where you keep your wallet, purse, or checkbook.
- Professional con artists will try to pressure you into buying their product on the spot and only want cash payments.
- Always get a written and signed contract for home improvements and repairs.
- Do not pay cash up front to any "service provider" who seeks you out by coming to your door.
- If you are not expecting company, don't open your door. This is being safe, not being rude.
Other Prevention Steps
- Be suspicious of emails and look-alike websites that mimic banks and financial institutions. Don't open suspicious emails or links.
- Write, download, or email for a free copy of "The Consumer Action Handbook." Write to:
Pueblo, CO 81009
- Guard your social security number. Remove it from your driver's license and personal checks. Refuse to provide it if asked.
- Opt out of receiving offers of credit in the mail that are based on your credit report. Prohibit credit bureaus from releasing your name, address, and phone number. Call 888-567-8688.
- Order your free annual credit report from Annual Credit Report, the only website authorized to fill requests for the free annual credit report you are entitled to under federal law. You may also call 888-322-8228. Check your report for accuracy.
Identity Theft: When Bad Things Happen to Your Good Name
- Reduce access to your personal information. Never ever give any personal information over the phone unless YOU initiated the call.
- Monitor your credit card, bank statements, and credit reports.
- Don't carry your Social Security and Medicare cards with you unless you absolutely need them.
- Make sure your social security number is not on your driver's license. Virginia stopped using social security numbers on licenses years ago, but if you haven't had a license renewed in the past decade or so, see them now for a new license or identification card.
- Make a copy of each credit card, health care card, and other important cards in your wallet. Keep these copies at home in a safe location.
- Take your name, phone number, and address off of marketing lists and reverse directories.
- Do not put your social security number on your checks.
- Secure personal information at home, and make sure to shred no longer needed personal information, bank statements, and documents.
For questions, concerns, or requests for presentations on fraud/scams, contact the Office of the Attorney General - Triad Partnership at:
Mary Vail Ware, Director - Programs and Community Outreach
Office of the Attorney General
900 E Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Email the Attorney General