Anyone can become a victim of a scam, but scammers usually look to a specific demographic more than anything else: the elderly. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the more common scams that target seniors and some ideas for combating these thieves.
Top Scams Targeting Seniors
According to the National Council on Aging, the most common financial scams targeting seniors are:
Government impersonation scam. Scammers call and pretend to be from the IRS, Social Security Administration, or Medicare. Scammers say victims have unpaid taxes and threaten arrest or deportation if they don’t pay them soon, or end Social Security and Medicare benefits if they don’t provide personal identification information. There is a possibility that Once this information is obtained, it can be used for identity theft.
sweepstakes fraud. Victims receive calls or messages stating that they have won sweepstakes content or lottery prizes. As a condition of winning, victims must send money in advance to cover taxes and fees.
phone scam. Scammers call victims and ask, “Can you hear me?” If the victim answers yes, the scammer will record their voice and hang up. Scammers have obtained voice signatures to authorize charges for stolen credit cards and other items.
Computer Tech Support Scams. These scams target your lack of knowledge about computers and technology. Scammers can proactively reach out to potential victims by communicating through her window that pops up telling them that the victim’s computer or phone is damaged and needs to be fixed. I have. When a victim calls a support number for help, the scammer may request remote her access to a computer or phone and demand repair costs.
grandparent fraud. Scammers call would-be grandparents, impersonate the victim’s grandchildren in an attempt to build a rapport, and ultimately demand money from the victim to solve pressing financial problems. To do.
romance scam. Scammers establish relationships with victims through social media and online dating sites before demanding large sums of money. The Federal Trade Commission reported that losses from romance schemes in 2020 rose 50% from 2019 to a record $304 million for her.
how can i help
If you know potential targets, establish regular get-togethers to inform them about these activities, ask if they have financial (or non-financial) questions, and receive suspicious communications. Consider checking to see if you did. be fraudulent.
If you believe someone has been scammed, please suggest the following steps to report the theft.
- Call your bank or credit card company
- Reset account password
- Call the police to report the stolen goods
- Report Fraud to the US Senate Select Committee on Aging
- Report to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Elder Fraud Hotline
- File a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission
James Angell is a Willits-based CPA. His office is at 461 S. Main St. He can be reached at 707-459-4205.