Con artists and financial fraudsters love targeting the elderly, especially when they are feeling lonely and depressed. Birthdays and holidays are prime opportunities for cybercriminals to target older adults who are searching online for gifts for loved ones. Protecting yourself or an aging loved one from illegal activity requires advanced knowledge of scammers’ tactics. What follows are several common financial schemes that often fool seniors, along with Senior fraud prevention tips for keeping you or that special senior in your life from becoming the victim of financial abuse.
Because many seniors want to stay in touch with family members once they’ve moved away, scammers often pretend to be grandchild in trouble. Those fraudsters might say that they’ve experienced some difficulty and need cash for legal fees, bail, hospital bills, or vehicle repairs. As your “grandchild,” they will stress that you can’t tell their parents for fear of retribution.
The surest way to avoid this type of grandparent scam is by taking a few minutes to verify the information. Talking to your relatives will quickly expose the fraudster before you’ve had time to wire any money. Remember that money is rarely an immediate concern in a medical or legal emergency, giving you plenty of time to practice due diligence.
Fake Apps and Loyalty Programs
Fraudsters often use compelling offers to convince people that the deals they find online are legit. Once they convince an older online shopper that their discounts are legit, the scam artist then uses other tools like a fake app to reel in their victim. Often, these fake apps are designed to offer substantial savings while mimicking well-known retailers.
Before downloading any apps, check whether the business’ name is spelled correctly and has any customer reviews. If there are typos and zero reviews, it’s likely a trap. In some cases, a retailer you frequent might say they want to reward you with a gift card. To access your reward, all you must do is click a link and provide your personal information. Although this sounds simple enough, it’s best to ignore these online offers, as there’s a legitimate chance that they aren’t real.
Fake charity scams are another favorite tactic of con artists late in the year because many seniors like to give back during the holidays. The fraudster will typically pose as someone from a reputable nonprofit charity while soliciting donations for a made-up cause.
Before writing that check or providing your credit card info, confirm that the charity is legitimate and that your donation is going to the right place. Watchdog organizations like the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance can tell you if the charity in question is reputable.
Email Phishing Scams
Although email phishing scams happen throughout the year, there’s an uptick in these fraud schemes during the holiday season. Email scams are ideal for stealing personal information, which means seniors need to be on guard for emails from suspicious or unfamiliar sources.
Fortunately, fraudulent emails are easy to detect if you know where to look. For example, fake emails often have typos and other errors that aren’t easy to notice at first glance. If a fraudulent email appears to come from a reputable source, you can often tell by the grammar and writing mistakes. A good rule of thumb is never to open an email unless you are sure it’s from a trusted source.
You can also report email scammers by sending the information to your local law enforcement officials or the Federal Trade Commission.
Your Trusted Senior Home Care Source in Raleigh, NC
Protecting your aging loved ones from financial fraudsters isn’t always easy when you’re busy or live far away. At HomeChoice Home Care Solutions, we deliver peace of mind to clients and their families by providing compassionate and dependable in-home care that’s second to none. Our top-notch caregivers and office staff provide personal levels of care that will make you and your loved one feel like family – because you are.
At HomeChoice Home Care Solutions, our mission is to enrich the lives of those we serve by providing caring, compassionate, and wellness-focused in-home care within a supportive environment that allows everyone involved to thrive. To schedule a FREE Care Consultation for a senior in Raleigh, Durham, or Cary, NC, today, please visit us at www.homechoicehomecare.com.