April 5th, 2017
Senior scam crime is on the rise, with nearly one in five senior citizens being successfully targeted every year. If you can help your loved ones be aware of the following common forms of scamming, and how to avoid them, you can put them at less risk of being taken advantage of.
Mail scams often attempt to get money or something else of value by offering a product, service, investment opportunity, or prize that doesn’t actually exist.
If a mailing looks fake, or if you see something that usually occurs in fraudulent mailings, such as asking for Social Security or credit card information, be suspicious. If possible, do a quick online search to see if anyone else has received similar mailings. Remember, never make any payments if you can’t verify that you’ve actually ordered something.
Unsolicited commercial email, or “spam” is usually the starting point for many email scams. Victims of email scam are vulnerable to identity theft, information theft, and financial loss.
Basic steps of protection include spam filters, antivirus software and personal firewalls, but also be vigilant about recognizing company names that appear to be fake, and “urgent reply” requests for false charities.
Crooks often try to use a “friendly” voice – or a threatening one – to either coddle or coerce a senior into taking an action which they shouldn’t.
To avoid being scammed over the phone, never trust offers for “free” money or vacations – especially ones which ask for your personal information. Don’t trust your caller ID, and always hang up on robocalls!