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Watching out for Scammers

An unfortunate truth about the age we live in is that seniors are often targeted for scams. We all know someone, whether a grandparent, aunt, or friend, who has fallen victim to an online scam. It can be embarrassing for the person who got scammed and can result in the loss of a lot of money. Often times, the scammers seem legitimate and are hard for seniors to detect. It falls on the loved-ones to make sure that seniors are informed and educated on the different scams and tricks people use.

Here are some different ways people try to scam:

Health

  • Health insurance scams requesting personal information
  • Health insurance scams offering or requesting money
  • Medical equipment telemarketing
  • Medicare billing calls
  • Telemarketers claiming Medicare covers their services or products
  • Blank health forms requiring signatures

IRS and Service Provider Scams

  • Phone calls supposedly from the IRS requesting information or money
  • Tax or service related mail asking for a signature or money besides regular bills
  • Offers or winnings for contests or lotteries seniors have not entered
  • In-person visits without prior notice from supposed collection agents
  • “Bank” or “bank card” requests for personal or financial account information

Digital Scams Targeting Seniors

Many scams that target seniors use digital technology, especially pop-ups or emails, since seniors are less likely to understand what is or isn’t valid online.

Look out for:

  • Emails claiming someone is in danger or needs ransom
  • Emails that say “RE:” but are not replies to emails seniors have sent
  • Emails about goods or services “purchased” that have not been purchased
  • Pop-ups that claim ransom or software is needed to unlock the computer
  • Offers for tech support or protection software from unfamiliar companies
  • Any requests for passwords, personal information like a social security number, or money made by companies seniors do not have an account with
  • Emails supposedly from known providers or companies that are not “.com” or that look unprofessional
  • Services offered by unknown entities, including “tax accountants” that are unfamiliar
  • Offers or winnings emailed or in a pop-up that seniors did not sign up for

 

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