Older adults are a prime target for financial scammers, for several reasons. Scammers make the assumptions that older adults have built up significant savings, that they are lonely and will welcome a conversation with someone who wants to talk with them, and that they may not be savvy enough to detect the scam. As a result, older adults lose more than $3 billion annually to financial scams. And sadly, many of these crimes are committed by a trusted family member of the victim.
It’s important for all of us to be aware of the latest scams targeting older adults in order to protect the ones we love – as well as ourselves. American, Advocate, and Whitsyms In-Home Care share some of the current top scams to watch for:
- Email/internet scams. Seemingly generated by the senior’s financial institution or online store and looking very legitimate, these scams are easy to fall for. An email link will be provided to update an account, which leads to a location for the senior to enter sensitive personal or financial information, which is then stolen.
- Romantic scams. For someone who is lonely, receiving texts or emails from a romantic admirer can be hard to resist, and difficult to identify as scams. The recurring theme to watch for is when someone asks for money, especially for travel expenses to come to the U.S. to start a new life with the senior.
- Sweepstakes winner scams. Receiving a “free” check in the mail as a lottery or sweepstakes prize can be exciting at first, but this scam involves a payment to be made to “unlock” the prize. Once the check (which is fake) is deposited to the senior’s account, it will be rejected – and the scammer is long gone with the payment.
- Grandparent scams. These scams are intended to pull a senior’s heartstrings. The scammer simply calls and says, “Hi, Grandma, do you know who this is?” Once the senior guesses the name of a particular grandchild, the scammer can describe a financial emergency, asking for a credit card number to get out of the jam.
- Government agency scams. Receiving a call from the supposed IRS, Medicare, or Social Security Administration with the threat of penalties for unpaid taxes or benefits being stopped can be intimidating. Seniors need to know that government agencies will never call and request personal information over the phone.
The Florida aging care experts at American, Advocate, and Whitsyms In-Home Care are always here to help with the resources, education, and in-home care services older adults need to stay safe. And, our referred care providers are the ideal solution to the loneliness and boredom that can make seniors more vulnerable to con artists. Through conversations and fun, engaging activities, older adults can enjoy each day to the fullest.
Contact us any time and let us know how we can help by clicking the link to the location nearest you below:
- American In-Home Care – Serving North, Central, and West Coast of Florida
- Advocate In-Home Care – Serving Southeast and Southwest Florida
- Whitsyms In-Home Care – Serving Southeast and Southwest Florida
State of Florida License and Registration Numbers: 30211518, 30211651, 30211295, 30211390, 30210978, 30211293, 30211382, 30211504, 30211733, 30211535, 30211531, 30211710, 30211709, 30211045, 5661