Do you know an elderly American who has fallen victim to a scam? According to the Senate Special Committee on Aging, senior citizens lose close to $3 billion each year to scams. This amount is staggering and unacceptable. It’s important to understand that scams against seniors take many shapes. From complete strangers to immediate family members, scammers use various methods to illegally obtain financial advancement for themselves. Knowing common scams and educating your loved ones can help protect them against becoming a victim.
Top 10 Scams Against Seniors
- IRS Phone Call – Phone scammers, using local area codes, tell victims they owe back taxes or penalties to the IRS. They threaten warrants or arrest if not paid. They ask for payment in many forms including money orders, credit cards, and even gift cards.
- Robocalls – Unsolicited repeated calls selling non-existent products.
- Sweepstakes Scams – Fraudsters contact via phone, mail or email requesting a fee to produce sweepstakes winnings.
- Computer Tech Support Scams – Phone scammers claim to be from a known tech company such as Microsoft or Apple. They convince the victim their computer is infected with a virus, offering to fix it for free by remotely accessing the computer. This allows the scammer to gain access to personal stored information such as credit cards, bank information, and social security numbers.
- Financial Abuse – The misuse or embezzlement of funds by a family member or caretaker.
- Grandparent Scams – Imposters request money as the victim’s grandchild or as a favor for a grandchild in trouble.
- Romance Scams – Scammers create fictitious online profiles to build a relationship with the victim. After trust is gained, they request money, usually for medical or personal problems.
- Social Security Impersonation Scam – Phone scammers claim to be from the Social Security Administration and inform the victim that there has been fraudulent activity on their account. They try to obtain the victim’s social security number.
- Impending Lawsuit Scams – Imposters claim to be law enforcement collecting fees for missed jury duty.
- Identity Theft – Scammers gain personal information through the mail, phone calls or online and use it to drain accounts and open fraudulent accounts.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a scam, contact the law office of Doar, Drill & Skow today at 877-362-7529, to understand your rights.