Officials in Dauphin County are issuing a warning for senior citizens. They are some our most vulnerable citizens and criminals are taking advantage of them.
Authorities arrested two people for scamming seniors out of thousands of dollars.
Officials said car salesman, Theron Goldman, submitted loans for more than the car was worth and pocketed the money. Authorities said he got away with more than $30,000.
Authorities said Cathy Caufield used her power of attorney agreements to scam an elderly woman out of $10,000.
Similar scams happen far too often, and the Dauphin County Elder Abuse Task Force is on a mission to nab more criminals.
"The message is very clear: if you plan to exploit seniors in Dauphin County, you will be caught and you will be brought to justice," County Commissioner George Hartwick III said.
Here are some tips on how to protect yourself:
- Do not trust just one person with your financial affairs. You should create a "check and balance" system that includes a few people, including family members and an outside financial advisor;
- If someone tries to sell you something, do not pay for a "free" prize. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is;
- Talk about offers with family or friends, and if you're still not sure if it's a legitimate offer, call the Better Business Bureau, Attorney General's office, or another watchdog group;
- Never respond to an offer you do not thoroughly understand;
- Do not give out personal info like credit card numbers, bank account information, or your social security number to anyone you do not know.
The task force is calling on Midstaters who care for the elderly to keep an eye out as well.
There is a 24-hour reporting hotline for people to report suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation. The number is 1-866-SAFE-111 or 1-800-723-3111.
Authorities said elder abuse comes in many other forms including mental, sexual, and physical abuse.
Dauphin County also offers free legal services to any senior citizen who has been scammed.