Scams on the Rise Targeting Seniors

Senior Scam Warning

According to a recent report from AARP, scams targeting seniors have more than doubled since 2020. Some of this is due to the changes that the pandemic ushered in, including increased online shopping and social isolation. However, some of it is also the result of technological advances. What are some of the scams on the rise targeting seniors, and how can you spot them?

Government Imposter Scams 

Government imposter scams are some of the most common scams that target everyone, particularly the elderly. As part of the scam, you might receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service, Medicare, or the Social Security Administration.

These callers often make wild claims, like that you have thousands of dollars worth of unpaid taxes that will lead to your arrest if you do not comply. These scammers, like many others, often demand payment immediately and some even say they will accept prepaid gift cards. 

*** NOTE:  Please tell your senior loved ones and friends that the IRS will send a letter to your home directly, and they never proactively call taxpayers to demand payment. Additionally, no government agency will ever request payment in the form of gift cards.

Lottery or Sweepstakes Scams

Sweepstakes scams are another common type of scam that disproportionately targets older adults. In these scams, someone will contact you to inform you that you have won a special prize, like the lottery or sweepstakes. However, in order to receive your prize, you will be expected to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in fees to cover miscellaneous processing costs. Like other scams, these fees often must be paid in gift cards.

Computer Tech Support Scams

There are thousands of tech-support scams that prey on elderly adults who are less comfortable and familiar with computers and cyber security conventions. These can take a variety of forms, from a pop-up window informing someone that their device has been hacked to an email sent informing them that they have a bill due for security protection software. In 2021 alone, older victims suffered $238 million in losses due to tech support fraud. Scammers who use computer tech support scams often attempt to gain access to your computer or accounts so that they can steal your money. This money is often never recovered.

Quick Signs You Might Be Getting Scammed

  • You are being pressured to act now
  • You won something for free but need to pay money to receive it
  • You are asked to pay a debt with a prepaid gift card
  • The website does not have a secure lock in the URL bar
  • There are typos or grammatical errors in the email
  • You received an unsolicited email or phone call
  • You are being asked to wire money to someone you have never met
  • The IRS or another government organization is emailing or texting you

Protect Yourself with Senior Care Lifestyles

Senior Care Lifestyles specializes in connecting seniors with the right in-home care, assisted living, or senior living community to meet their needs. We have helped hundreds of clients and treat each senior as a valued member of our own family deserving our personalized attention, compassion and respect.

For help, or questions please call us at 410-977-3718 or send a message through our website

Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Owner, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA®) & Assisted Living Placement Specialist - Senior Care Lifestyles, LLC provides compassion, guidance and recommendations to families faced with transitioning a loved one into Assisted Living, Dementia/Alzheimer’s Care, Skilled Nursing, Temporary Respite Care or a Continuous Care Retirement Community. Senior Care Lifestyles was founded in 2014 by Deborah Bakalich, a Certified Senior Advisor and graduate from both Towson University and Stevenson. Senior Care Lifestyles is uniquely positioned as a local (not National) Maryland based placement firm familiar with Maryland senior care facilities and in-state financial assistance programs for senior residents. They meet personally with each family to understand the seniors care needs including medical, personal lifestyle preferences, budget, religion and desired geographic location. They pride themselves in locally guiding and educating families through the entire maze of senior living options available and will schedule tours on behalf of the family and accompany the family on visits of communities. They are passionate and committed to finding the perfect match to call home and stays with the family throughout the entire process, every step of the way, until a decision is made, and the senior is safely moved into their new home. Senior Care Lifestyles can also provide the family with trustworthy, vetted, and reputable experts to assist with the transition for organizing, packing, moving, sale of real estate, estate planning, legal services, and determining eligibility for State, Federal and Veterans Benefits to assist with care costs. Deborah is a proud member of the Maryland Senior Resource Network (MSRN) where she has served as Vice President on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Organization, Society of Certified Senior Advisors, Mid-Atlantic Network Group and a member of the Business Opportunity Network (BON).

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