Sadly, retirees are a frequent target of scammers and frauds. Senior scams can be particularly devastating because it affects people living on nothing but their savings, fixed incomes, etc. Financial scams do, in fact, cost the retirement age population roughly $3 billion annually, according to the Senate Special Committee on Aging.
Awareness could well be the single most effective preventative where scams are concerned. The more aware you and your aging loved one are of potential scams and frauds, the better. But how does one become more aware of something like this? We’re going to introduce you to the most frequently attempted senior scams of today. This way, your loved one will be able to spot the warning signs and, hopefully, avoid getting scammed altogether.
The Scam: Scams related to romance can cost Americans in excess of $2 million in one year, according to the FTC. Recent divorcees, widowers, and widows are targeted using scams that begin in person, at online dating sites, through social media platforms, etc. In short, they convince the victim that they are completely and totally in love with them, but then end up asking for exorbitant amounts of money for various reasons.
Avoiding the Scam: Only trust people who have earned it. Prioritize your relationships. Stay on guard at all times. If you haven’t met someone in person, you especially don’t want to give them your financial information or assistance.
Scams for Grandparents
The Scam: Someone will call a grandparent and pretend not only to be in distress but also pretend to be their beloved grandchild. They most times ask for money, claiming to be in some kind of trouble, emergency, financial pinch, etc.
Avoiding the Scam: Always be suspicious of any requests for gift cards, wired funds, etc. Feel free to verify, with a parent or other relative, the situation the supposed “grandchild” is in.
Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams
The Scam: Though this type of scam can be done numerous ways, one way is to call the individual and tell them they are the winner of a lottery, drawing, sweepstakes, etc. Here comes the catch…in order to claim their prize, they need to pay $10,000 (as an example).
Avoiding the Scam: First of all, if you “won” something, you shouldn’t have to pay them for it. Secondly, however, if you do enter sweepstakes, lotteries, etc., check the AARP Do’s and Don’ts List for lotteries, sweepstakes, etc.
In the interest of brevity, the following sections will simply include how to avoid certain scams.
Obituaries should contain as few personal details and as little personal information as possible. Leave out contact information, addresses, etc.
Counterfeit Prescription Drugs
Talk to your physician before changing over to any prescription you found online. Don’t exchange a questionnaire filled out with information for the offer of a prescription.
Health Insurance and Medicare Scams
Never let others use your Medicare card. Treat it like you would a credit card by safeguarding it. Watch for suspicious activities on your Medicare statement. Note: Medicare will never try to sell you something.
Reverse Mortgage and Homeowner Scams
Talk to a professional reverse mortgage counselor if you’re considering a reverse mortgage. If you don’t completely understand something 100%, don’t sign it. Consider taking someone with you to your meeting.
Before you invest in anything, conduct a lot of research and ask a lot of questions. Regularly monitor your bank statements and balances.
Fraudulent Tech Support
Make sure your computer has antivirus software, but that you also research the antivirus software company first to make sure it’s reliable. Antivirus software adds that pop up on your screen should not be clicked on. They are either fishing for information or it’s a virus. Hang up if someone calls you to tell you there’s a problem with your computer.
Scams Involving Telemarketing
If you aren’t familiar with a company, it’s best not to buy something from them.
Also, before donating any money, request written materials if you’re dealing with a charity, nonprofit, etc. Additionally, whoever you spoke to on the phone should give you contact information for the charity.
Hidden Meadows On The Ridge – Because We Care
Sellersville, Pennsylvania’s Hidden Meadows On The Ridge posts pieces like this because we care about you and your loved ones. That’s just one of the reasons why we provide the utmost in resort-style retirement living and more.
See for yourself all we have to offer. Schedule a tour, today. If you prefer, you can also phone us at 267-682-6538 or, for sales and leasing inquiries, call 267-458-6997.