Scammers tend to target seniors more frequently than any other age group. This is due to seniors being more trusting, less technologically proficient, and having years of savings. It is estimated that seniors lose $3 billion every year because of scams. Harmony Senior Services wants to make sure our seniors stay safe from scams this holiday season by providing these resources.
Common Types of Scams:
- Government imposters- Someone may call saying they’re from the IRS or Medicare saying you have unpaid taxes or are at risk of losing your healthcare benefits.
- Grandchild imposters- Someone may call posing as a grandchild who needs money for an unexpected financial problem such as overdue rent or a jail bond.
- Computer tech imposters- A pop-up message stating your device is compromised will ask you to call a number. The person on the phone may charge a fee to “fix” the problem.
- Sweepstakes imposters- Someone may reach out saying you won a lottery or sweepstakes and need to make a payment to “unlock” the prize money.
- Romance imposters- With an uptick in internet dating, scammers may create fake profiles to connect with you and request money to come and visit you.
- Email imposters- An email may come through from what looks like a reputable source asking you to verify your personal information such as log-in or social security number.
- Charity imposters- Someone may reach out asking you to donate to a popular charity using an odd payment method such as a gift card or money transfer.
Tips to Avoid Scams:
- Create strong passwords
- Don’t give out personal information
- Block unwanted calls
- Don’t click on unknown links
- Pause if there is pressure
If you find yourself entangled in any of these situations, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk to your friends to make sure they’re not going through the same situation. Talk to your Executive Director so they can be made aware of the situation and point you in the right direction. And report your experience to Adult Protective Services and/or the Federal Trade Commission.
National Council on Aging. https://www.ncoa.org/older-adults/money/management/avoiding-scams