Online and Mail Scams Related to Economic Downturn Continue to Target Seniors

“Pay Advance: Stimulus Improvement.” “Deposit Notice.” “Pay Advance.” “Emergency Funds, COV19 Update.”

Are emails with these subject lines filling up your inbox, or the inboxes of seniors in your life?

Unfortunately, scammers are using this difficult time to take advantage of people, especially vulnerable seniors. Seniors already are bilked each year out of about $36.5 billion—yes, billion with a “b”—due to scams, according a CNBC report. Even seniors who do not have cognitive deficits appear to be more likely to fall for financial-related scams, CNBC reports.

Last month, Secure Aging let you know about financial scams related to the new coronavirus. This month, we share more information on scams but focus more on examples related to the economic downturn caused by the virus. Here are a few examples that seniors in your life may encounter:

1. Emails or texts with eye-catching subject lines such as “Pay Advance: Stimulus Improvement” and similar titles. Upon opening the emails, you’re prompted to click on a link to confirm and/or enter account information (all with the idea of getting you money, perhaps related to a stimulus payment). In reality, the link is a way to steal your personal and financial information.

2. Emails, phone calls, or mail from the IRS related to the IRS stimulus payments. Similarly, this type of communication claims to need your bank account information to make your stimulus payment. The IRS will not call you to verify your financial information IRS commissioner Chuck Rettig recently said.

3. You receive a so-called stimulus payment. The sender then asks you to call a phone number to verify your personal information so that you can cash it. In reality, this is not a true stimulus payment.

4. You get a call or email from a charity soliciting for money. You receive a solicitation to give money to a charity that sounds real. Perhaps the charity is related to a coronavirus relief fund. However, you check out the charity online, and the web address is not real.

Find more scam examples related to the economic downturn and the new coronavirus in this article  from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Here are a few specific ways that the seniors you care for can protect themselves from these types of scams:

  • Never click on links or open attachments from people you don’t know.
  • Look carefully at email addresses. Scammers will often give the name of a legitimate company (for example, the name of a bank) but if you look at the amil address, it’s very different from the actual website or email that company uses.
  • Say no if you are contacted for your credit card, Social Security, or bank account information.
  • Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission at the following web address:

Call Secure Aging to Find Out How We Can Help Seniors With Financial Management

At Secure Aging in Bradenton, we transform the weight of the world into a sigh of relief for our senior clients and their concerned family members. The mission of Secure Aging is to protect and preserve our client’s independence and dignity through careful and thoughtful financial and care management. As our clients age, it is their desire to remain independent and age with dignity. Our services protect our clients from talented con artists looking to exploit and deplete the financial resources of our vulnerable seniors. Secure Aging helps families in Manatee County and Sarasota County and in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Call us at 941-761-9338, or visit us online at

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