As our loved ones age, it is important to be aware of scams that are targeting the elderly population. Being aware of the following scams can help prevent you and people you know from falling for them.
1. IRS impersonation. Scammers call and claim that an individual owes back taxes and penalties. Scammer will threaten to arrest them or foreclose on their home unless the person pays them immediately. The IRS would never call an individual and make threatening remarks.
2. Robo-calls and unsolicited phone calls. Americans receive many robo-calls daily. Scammers have found a way to make it seem that their call originates in your state or local area code. Even if the number is local, you should be wary of a caller you don’t recognize.
3. Sweepstakes scams. Criminals contact victims and tell them that they’ve won a lottery and need to pay a fee to collect their winnings.
4. Computer tech support scams. Fraudsters pretend they work for a well-known company like Microsoft or Dell. They claim that an individual’s computer has been infected with a virus, then the fraudster tries to collect payment or gain remote access to the computer.
5. Elder financial abuse. Family members, caregivers, and strangers can all be influencers. They use various methods to take advantage of the elderly. You should be wary of strange or unusual activity or requests.
6. Grandparent scams. Criminals call pretending to be the victim’s grandchild and claim they need money to get themselves out of an emergency. Before sending any money, its important verify that is the person calling is actually your grandchild.
7. Romance scams. This typically happens through online dating sites. Once a fraudster has struck up a relationship, they ask for money. Sometimes they ask for money to visit the senior or cover medical costs.
8. Social security impersonation. Scammers call or email claiming to represent the Social Security Administration. The scammer will request personal information like their social security number, birth date, or bank information.
9. Impending lawsuit scams. A Fraudster pretends to represent a local, state, or federal law enforcement agency and tells an individual that there is a warrant out for their arrest unless they pay a fine.
10. Identity theft. Identity thieves make unauthorized credit card purchases, steal money from bank accounts, or apply for Social Security benefits under the name of someone else. You should frequently review your bank transactions and check your credit report at least annually to catch any signs of identity theft.