Avoid These 4 Scams That Target Seniors

From romance scams to COVID-19 vaccine scams, there seems to be no shortage of scams that target older adults nowadays. The details may vary, but the basic premise is to try and get personal information and/or money from an unsuspecting senior. Scams also may change over time to take advantage of the latest technology. 

Here’s a roundup of some of the most common scams that are targeting seniors.

1. COVID-19 vaccine scams. For all the obvious reasons, COVID-19 vaccine scams take advantage of the great desire that seniors have to stay safe against the new coronavirus. In these scams, someone may offer you special vaccine access for a price. Or, they’ll ask for your Social Security number or banking information in exchange for vaccine access. Don’t let these scammers trick you. There is no cost for a COVID-19 vaccine, and legitimate vaccine sites will not ask for your Social Security or banking account numbers. 

2. Romance scams. Many people, including older adults, are looking for love. Unfortunately, some find themselves duped in the process. Here’s one common scenario that’s affected many older adults who fall victim to romance scams. They search for someone through an online dating site and establish contact with a potential mate. That potential mate may say that they live overseas, but they still shower the older adult with attention. Then, the potential mate says they are experiencing a crisis—perhaps a job loss or a health problem—and they ask for money. This scenario and others bilked older consumers out of $84 million in 2019, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The bottom line: Be skeptical if you choose to date online. Don’t give away your money, and don’t trust easily that someone is who they purport to be.

3. Tech support scams. Technology makes your live easier—until it doesn’t. After all, we go through the trouble of learning how to use items like computers but then may get caught up in how to use it properly. As it turns out, older adults are more likely to fall victim to tech support scams, which typically work like this: You’re on a computer, and you get a message that something is wrong and that you should call the phone number on the screen. The phone number may say it’s technical support for Apple or Microsoft. The scammers offer to take control of your computer to provide the support, and then they ask for payment for their so-called repairs or for fraudulent service contracts. Some preventive measures: Use a current, reliable security protection program on your computer, and don’t click on any pop-up “tech support” ads that appear on your computer.

4. Sweepstakes or lottery scams. You’ve won! Only you haven’t. Scams that claim to offer a monetary prize but then require you to pay a fee to get your prize are yet another way that scammers get money from seniors. Sometimes, the scammer may say it’s a foreign sweepstakes, which is why you need to pay a fee. Remember, you have to play to win—and if you haven’t played and you don’t have a ticket, it’s likely not a legitimate sweepstakes. Don’t provide your personal information to someone who tells you that you have won a sweepstakes or lottery that you know you haven’t played.

Call Secure Aging to Find Out How We Can Help Seniors With Care 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 www.secureaging.com.

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