Elder Abuse - Learn More and How to Help

Every day, headlines throughout the U.S. paint a grim picture of seniors who have been abused, neglected, and exploited, often by people they trust the most. Abusers may be spouses, family members, personal acquaintances, or professionals in positions of trust, or opportunistic strangers who prey on the vulnerable.  

How big is the problem? Research indicates that more than one in ten elders may experience some type of abuse, but only one in 23 cases are reported. This means that very few seniors who have been abused get the help they need.  One thing is for certain: elder abuse can happen to any older individual – your neighbor, your loved one – it can even happen to you.


Reporting Scams and Frauds​                                                                                                                 

Learn how to protect yourself from scams and frauds:
From the Federal Trade Commission: Crooks use clever schemes to defraud millions of people every year.  They often combine sophisticated technology with age-old tricks to get people to send money or give out personal information.  They add new twists to old schemes and pressure people to make important decisions on the spot.  One thing that never changes: they follow the headlines — and the money.

How To Avoid Phone Scams That Target Seniors
Telemarketing is big business for scammers.  The Department of Justice estimates that $40 billion is lost every year to telemarketing scams.  And, it turns out that a large majority of the victims are over the age of 50.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The FTC is the nation’s consumer protection agency. They work to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace.  The FTC offers a wealth of consumer information on scams, IRS imposters, identity theft, 'do not call' lists as well as scam alerts

Register for 'Do Not Call' lists, file a consumer complaint, report identity theft.  Receive scam alerts and get information on IRS imposters

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Complaints to the FTC about IRS imposter scams have shot up over the last year — by almost 50,000 complaints.   

Here’s what happens: You get a call from a scammer pretending to be with the IRS, saying you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay taxes you owe right now.  You’re told to wire it or put it on a prepaid debit card.  They might threaten to deport you or say you’ll lose your driver’s license.  Some even know your Social Security number, and they fake caller ID so you think it really is the IRS calling. 

If you got a call, the FTC offers the following advice: 
  • Don't give the caller your information
  • Write down the details of the call
  • Hang-Up
  • Call the I.R.S. directly if you are worried the call is real. Phone # 800-829-1040, website: www.irs.gov
  • Report the call to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), 800-366-4484
  • Warn family and friends about the scam; particularly seniors who are most often targeted. 

Better Business Bureau
File a complaint or report a scam as well as find information on local scams.


Billerica Police 
Detective Division
File a complaint or report a scam.

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Learn about common fraud schemes, including investment related and internet scams. Information on how to report incidents.

Fraud.org  -  A project of the National Consumers League
Provides information on scams and how / where to report complaints.  Sign up for fraud alerts.

Mass Attorney General
Learn about scans and frauds, register for 'Do Not Call' lists, report insurance and     Medicaid fraud as well as other information on services for seniors
Elder Hotline - 888-243-5337

Mass Association of Councils on Aging
Information on a wide variety of scams targeting seniors in the region.

National Council on Aging
Information on the top 10 financial scams targeting seniors

National Crime Prevention Council
Tips to prevent identity theft

Learn how to protect yourself from and respond to scams and frauds.

US Department of Justice
Learn about where to report different kinds of fraud; criminal, health care, financial and more.