We’ve all heard the adage, “If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.” That’s a good phrase to keep in mind as certain types of scams continue to plague seniors. Some of these scams are oldies but goodies that have affected older adults for many years. Others are scams that are linked to current events, such as COVID. Here’s a list of scams you’ll want to help the seniors in your life avoid in 2022.
The heart wants what it wants….until it gets bilked out of money. Romance scams, also called sweetheart scams, notoriously target vulnerable seniors. According to the Federal Trade Commission, these types of scams cost those age 60 and up $139 million in 2020. Among all ages, romance scams led to a loss of $304 million. These numbers spiked higher during the pandemic. Sweetheart scammers may say they live abroad with the military or on an oil rig and are never available for video chats. Once you’re hooked in emotionally, they’ll ask for money. Let the senior in your life know they should be slow to reveal themselves when meeting suitors online, and they should never send money, including gift cards.
Fake Prescription Drugs
Who can resist bargain prices for some of their most commonly used prescription drugs? After all, many medications are pricey. Take a step back before you order based on an ad you see for cheap prescription drugs. There are counterfeit pharmacies out there that are offering fake drugs. That means the pills you would get are not real, and the main goal that the scammer has is to obtain your credit card or insurance information. You can help avoid fake prescription drugs by using a pharmacy that requires a doctor’s prescription and checking the Food and Drug Administration’s website to find an online pharmacy that is licensed in your state.
COVID-19 Test Scams
With the Omicron variant surging through the U.S., regulators are spreading the word regarding COVID-19 test scams. These have included fake COVID testing sites, at-home testing scams, and people posing as health care workers at real testing sites. The goal of these scammers is to get personal information from people. Florida's Attorney General's office issued a warning earlier this month to let Floridians know about this type of scam. It even noted that imposter health workers were found at a legitimate testing site in Sarasota. You can help avoid COVID-19 test scams by only buying at-home tests from well-established websites. In person, make sure that any workers you interact with are dressed the same as other on-site workers, masked, and knowledgeable about the testing process.
Have you ever received an email from someone you don’t know asking you to download something or click on a link? Beware! This type of approach is called “phishing.” What may happen after you click on the link is that you end up downloading malware on your computer.
Malware is a type of software that hackers can use to cause damage to your computer or to search through personal files, including financial information. This article from the Federal Trade Commission lets you know how to remove malware if it ends up on your computer and how to avoid it.
One additional tip: Don’t click on links or download files from people you don’t know. Even if it’s sent by someone you know, if it doesn’t look like the usual type of message they would send, don’t click on the link without checking with them first
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 client's 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.