Imagine that you are in the midst of saving up for retirement and all of a sudden, you lose thousands of dollars in a fell swoop? This is what happens to many Americans over the age of 65. This is indeed a devastating loss for those who are scammed as well as their family members. Scammers often target older adults nearing retirement as they usually would have amassed a hefty sum. This article will take you through some scams targeting seniors in the hope that you remain vigilant and be smart about revealing your personal information to a stranger.
This kind of scam usually involves people who pretend to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or even your health insurance provider like Medicare. These scammers may claim that you have outstanding fees or taxes that have not been paid. They may threaten you with jail time or assert that your benefits will expire should you not pay up immediately. They are usually looking for your personal information like your social security number to hack your real accounts.
In this scam, the fraudulent party informs the victim that they have just won a lucky draw. They mention that they need to pay a certain amount of money to “unlock” the grand prize. Many people fall for this scam because they believe that a substantial sum of money should warrant a smaller fee to obtain. Usually, they are sent a check that they’re able to deposit. When this happens, seniors will see that they have been credited the amount. However, they often fail to realize that this check will bounce, and they’ll lose money. The scammers will pocket the real money that the seniors provide.
The internet has increased the number of frauds targeting seniors. Usually, the 65+ demographic is targeted because scammers assume that they are not that internet savvy and will not be able to spot frauds. Scams can come in various forms. For example, pop-up windows can con your loved ones into downloading a fake anti-virus program at a high price point. Alternatively, an actual virus is being downloaded from which scammers can glean personal information. Phishing emails are another kind of scam wherein an email comes from a supposedly trusted company like your bank. They request your personal information or send you a link that’s a virus if you click on it.
This may not seem much like a scam but financial abuse towards seniors by their own family member or someone trusted is not as uncommon as you might think. Many who are disabled, have neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are especially vulnerable to such abuse. The abuser can easily gain control over money as they are already privy to their personal information.
If you suspect that you have become a victim of a scam, don’t hesitate to reach out to trusted people. You should also contact the relevant authorities as soon as possible so that your money can be recovered.