Updated: Mar 22
As technology becomes more advanced, scammers have gotten better at convincing people they are a real person/business. Going as far as having convincing websites, credentials, and stories. Elders are more at high risk of falling for Frauds and Scams. Informing your loved one what to look out for is the best way to avoid being tricked. Here are some common scams that are used today.
These tend to be a call or email to the grandparent posing as law enforcement or medical professionals claiming to represent a family member in distress (overdue rent, payment for car repairs, etc.) Scammers will ask for money to be wired to pay for medical bills or legal fees.
Government imposter scams
Fraudsters contact older people claiming to be representatives from a well-known government agency. This could include Medicare, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Medicare scams: Scammers claiming to be Medicare representatives call to “verify” their Medicare number. If you provide it, they’ll use it to steal your health benefits. Or, they might claim that the victim needs to pay a fee to receive a new card and ask for your credit card number.
IRS scams: During tax season, scammers will call elderly people claiming to be from the IRS and say there’s an issue with their return. They’ll collect information to “secure” your tax file, but in reality, they’ll use it to file phony tax refunds and commit identity theft.
Social Security scams: In this scam, the imposter claims your SSN has been suspended due to an alleged crime. In order to reinstate it, they will demand payment usually in the form of gift cards. Gift cards are becoming popular amongst scammers for payment because they are less traceable.
Tech support scams
Scammers pretend to be a tech support representatives from a company you trust like Apple or Microsoft. They’ll claim that your device is at risk of being infected by viruses and then trick you into granting them remote access or paying for software that you don’t need. The goal is to trick the victim into downloading what they think is helpful software. But in reality, it’s actually malware that opens up the potential for cyber attacks that target the victim’s banking information.
It is important for you and your loved ones to be aware of these frauds and scams. It is a scammer's goal to take advantage of those who are not aware. Each year, millions of seniors fall victim to some type of financial fraud. Financial abuse targeting seniors is a widespread issue affecting lots of people. The FBI estimates that seniors lose more than $3 billion each year to fraudsters.
For more on home care or a little assistance at home when you need it most, visit the compassionate team at Helping Hearts at Home today.
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