HARRISBURG, Pa., April 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Aging is recognizing April Fools' Day by providing Pennsylvania's older adults with advice to help avoid being "fooled" by fraud and scams. April 1 is often associated with harmless pranks and good-natured jokes, but crimes targeting older people are a real issue that hurt many innocent people. Though financial exploitation is a crime that can be punishable by law, it is often hard to retrieve stolen money from the criminals. The best way to ensure you or a loved one's finances are safe is to stop fraud before it happens. Some tips to help recognize a suspicious and possibly fraudulent situation:
Respond cautiously to in-person, mail, Internet or solicitations.
Avoid persons who ask for money unless you purchased or bought a product or service from them
Be cautious of any deal that sounds too good to be true
If you believe you have been contacted by a suspicious person or entity, this type activity could be considered a potential abuse. Any person who believes that an older adult is being abused, neglected, exploited or abandoned may call the statewide elder abuse hotline at 1-800-490-8505, which is open 24 hours a day, or the local Area Agency on Aging. If you have concerns about the quality of care an older person is receiving from a facility or a caregiver, please call your local Area Agency on Aging for guidance. For more information about the Department of Aging's protective services program and other resources, please visit: www.aging.state.pa.usMedia contacts: Christina Reese, Dept. of Aging; 717-783-1550 SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Aging