Who You Gonna Call? Scam Squad!



By: Sheryl Harris, Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs

People of all ages get scammed, but scams can be particularly tough on Older Americans.

Seniors often are on fixed incomes, so it’s harder for them to recover from a financial loss. They sometimes are afraid to tell anyone, fearing scammers’ threats or the family’s reaction. Or if they do tell someone, their complaint may not make it to the enforcement agency best suited to investigate.

So in Cuyahoga County, we’re changing the way we fight frauds that rip off our seniors.

We’ve created Scam Squad, a task force that unites the social service and nonprofit agencies that work with the county’s older residents with the local, state and federal enforcement agencies that investigate fraud.

We believe that by working together, we can:
  • Rapidly identify current fraud threats to older residents
  • Ensure scam reports reach the appropriate enforcement agencies
  • Make sure victims get a “warm hand-off” if they must be referred
  • Encourage victims and near-victims to report scams
  • Arm seniors with information they need to spot and avoid scams

Scam Squad members are thrilled that Channel 3 has decided to feature weekly Scam Squad alerts in its 6 p.m. newscast. 

Scam Squad members include the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Cuyahoga County Division of Senior and Adult Services, Cleveland Department of Aging, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, Cleveland Police Department, AARP, Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Cleveland, Benjamin Rose Institute, ESOP, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and the Cleveland Office of Fair Housing and Consumer Affairs.

Law enforcement and senior-focused agencies that would like more information about Scam Squad or senior groups who’d like a Scam Squad representative to speak at their event can call 216-443-7035.

For additional information about scams, be sure to follow Cuyahoga County Consumer Affairs on Twitter.

To report a scam, please call 216-443-7035 or visit: http://consumeraffairs.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/Report-A-Scam.aspx