SCAM #1: Grandchild Impersonation
One of the most prevalent senior scams involves young people posing as grandchildren on the phone. Typically, they’ll say they’re in an emergency and need to make an urgent payment for college, rent, or their car loan.
How to avoid: Remind loved ones to always ask for identity confirmation details when they receive financial requests from family members via phone or email, such as another family member’s name.
SCAM #2: Medicare Identity Theft
Medicare scams are on the rise. Fraudsters try to get seniors’ Medicare Numbers and personal information to charge services to the account.
How to avoid: Make note that Medicare will never:
SCAM #3: Fake Lottery or Sweepstakes
Sometimes fraudsters will tell seniors over phone, or email, that they’ve won a lottery and sweepstakes; but, they’ll have to claim their prize for a fee, sometimes upwards of $1,000.
How to avoid: Tell friends/family to be skeptical of any financial reward offered online for a giveaway they don’t remember entering.
Scam #4: Predatory Romantic Partner
Fraudsters posing as romantic interests online via social media or email can take an emotional toll on lonely seniors looking for companionship. In fact, romance scams resulted in the biggest financial losses last year for people over 60. The grooming campaign usually goes something like this: an older adult meets someone on a social media site or dating app, and they chat for weeks or months online without meeting in person. The romantic interest may say they’re out of the state or country and can’t meet. Then the person will ask for financial help, and they’ll keep asking until the victim realizes they’re being
How to avoid: Encourage those who engage in online dating to set up video calls with partners to screen for false identities and to never offer financial help to someone they haven’t met in real life.
Scam #5: Tech Support
Scammers will often pretend to be associated with Microsoft, Apple, or a security company and claim to have detected a threat on the senior’s device. They may ask for remote access to the device or personal login information to address the threat.
How to avoid: Make sure your loved one knows how to spot fraudulent tech support attempts. Here are some signs of a scam:
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