APS: Avoiding Scams

To report abuse of an adult at risk
(age 18 to 59),
call your county helpline.

To report abuse in a nursing home
or other long term care facility,
contact the Division of Quality Assurance.

To report abuse of an elder
(age 60 plus),
call your county helpline.

To report abuse outside of Wisconsin,
contact NAPSA.


Con artists come up with more elaborate and more damaging ways to scam people every day. Nobody is immune to scams, but knowing the following information may help you to protect yourself from being scammed.

Take your time

Con artists and scammers can be very charming and nice. Often, they will use this to rush people into making a deal without knowing all the pertinent details.

Always insist on taking your time. Get the details in writing, and if you are uncomfortable with the deal, talk to a trusted family member or friend before providing any financial information to a stranger.

Home repair schemes are common across the nation. Before you give any money to someone who comes to your door, talk to your neighbors or trusted family members. Also, ask to see credentials and local references. This is especially important if the business contact information is not in your area or even in Wisconsin. It is best to get at least two estimates before you get any work done on your home.

Do not pay for unfinished work

Do not pay for any work in advance of its completion. Many scammers will take your money and disappear as soon as they get the chance, leaving you to pay for any damages. Any legitimate businessperson should be willing to sign a contract or work order.

Do not pay cash to persons you hire. Paying by credit card provides greater protections.

Be familiar with common scams

There are many resources available to keep you up to date on common scams taking place around the country. Check out these links about common scams like foreign lotteries, pigeon drops, dead debt, and countless others.

The most important thing to remember about scams is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Do not be too embarrassed to ask for help and advice on matters related to your money. It is okay to be skeptical. On the other hand, do not be embarrassed if you have been scammed. Report the event to your local sheriff or to consumer protection.

Last Revised: July 24, 2020