Seniors Target of Scam in Sparks

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Recently a scam that seems to be aimed at seniors has been reported in Sparks.

According to police the conmen stop drivers to tell them their car is showing signs of trouble. When the driver stops, the swindler tells them the car is smoking or exhibiting some other problem. They offer to take a look to see if they can help. Once the fictional problem is identified the scammer tells the driver he works at a local dealership, and can perform the repair at a much reduced price.

Police in Sparks remind drivers "...if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is". They say if someone points out a problem with your car, simply thank them then take the vehicle to a reputable mechanic.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation there are a number of reasons that con-artists target seniors. They say seniors are most likely to have a large "nest egg" or good credit that is attractive to thieves.

People raised in the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's were generally raised to be polite and trusting. Those are personality traits that are likely to be exploited by crooks.

Older Americans are sometimes afraid to report that they have been victimized. They don't want their families to think they are no longer capable of managing their own affairs.

In addition, sometimes it can take weeks to realize that you've been ripped off. The FBI says because of the effects of age on memory, seniors can have difficulty recalling details of the crime to report to the authorities.

In Sparks, police say so far there have only been two reports filed on the car trouble scam. They say it's difficult to know how many more people may have encountered the con unless they come forward.