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.
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 protect yourself from falling for a con.
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.
Always insist on taking your time. Get the details in writing. If you are uncomfortable with the deal, talk to a trusted family member or friend before you give 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 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 before it is finished. Many scammers will take your money and disappear as soon as they get the chance, leaving you to pay for any damages. A legitimate businessperson should be willing to sign a contract or work order.
Do not pay cash to people you hire. Paying by credit card will better protect you.
Be familiar with common scams
There are many resources that can keep you up to date on common scams around the country. Check out these links about common scams like foreign lotteries, pigeon drops, dead debt, and countless others.
- AARP Scams and Fraud website—Frequently updated information about recent scams, identity theft, and other forms of fraud.
- Wisconsin Better Business Bureau: BBB Scam Tracker
- Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Protection: Identify Theft Protection
- Federal Trade Commission: Avoiding and Reporting Scams—A list of nationwide scam alerts.
The most important thing to remember about scams is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It is okay to be skeptical. Do not be embarrassed to ask for help or advice on matters related to your money. And do not be embarrassed if you have been scammed. Report the event to your local law enforcement or to consumer protection.