As technology advances, so does the number of scams. Unfortunately, scammers often target seniors. If you’re a senior who has been the victim of a scam, don’t be embarrassed, you aren’t alone. According to the FBI, millions of elderly Americans are victimized by scammers every year.
Luckily, there are resources available to you to help avoid being the victim of these types of scams. Officer Stacey Wickes, Dewitt PD, recently visited one of our locations to teach residents about the different types of scams and how to avoid them.
Here is a list of five common senior-targeted scams to look out for:
- Romance Scam –
- Scammers will frequently use dating apps or websites to meet seniors and pretend to be interested so they can steal money or other information.
- Grandparent Scam –
- Scammers will pose as family members such as a grandchild to ask for money.
- Sweepstakes/Lottery Scam –
- These types of scams are often in the form of suspicious emails or texts with a link that says that you have won a gift card or some other prize of value. In addition, scammers will send checks in the mail and claim that you are a winner.
- Computer Virus Scam –
- These are forms of scams where you receive a pop-up message on your computer screen, saying that you have a virus or that someone has hacked you. They will then ask you to download software or insert banking information to fix the problem.
- Government Official Scam –
- Scammers will call your phone and tell you that there is a warrant out for your arrest or that you need to provide money, threatening your arrest or prosecution.
- They may also try to tell you that a family member, such as a grandchild is in jail and that you need to pay their bail.
It is nearly impossible to list every kind of scam, but here are some key tips to keep you protected from any kind of scam you might come across:
- When in doubt, call a tech-savvy family member and ask them for their opinion.
- Take the time to open your junk mail to look for hints that you have been scammed or that there was fraudulent activity on your account.
- If you aren’t sure who is calling, don’t answer the phone.
- If you receive a suspicious call or email which asks for your personal information, call the real number of who they claim to be to verify their identity.
For more information visit: https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes/elder-fraud