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 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.
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.
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.
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 www.seniorcarelifestyles.com.