Now more than ever, financial scammers are targeting seniors through sophisticated ploys. Seniors tend to be targeted because they are often more trusting and compassionate. Here are 4 things for seniors to be on the lookout for:
- Sweetheart Scams. A popular scan targeting seniors is one where a person makes contact through social media or dating apps and pretends to be romantically interested in the targeted senior. The scammer will begin to express feelings for the senior, but often stop short of meeting in person. The scam comes in when the new partner begins to ask for money. It could be to help pay rent or cover the cost of groceries. It often starts with small amounts, and then there are requests for larger sums using emotional triggers as bait. Beware of new partners or people who move to fast or you may be out more than just a broken heart.
- Grandparent Assistance. Another scan that became notorious over the last few years are individuals pretending to be a grandchild in dire need of financial assistance. They may beg the grandparent for help with either bail money or some other emergency. They may request gift cards or cash to be sent to some currier for pick up. This allows for a scammer to take the money and remain anonymous. Beware of such scans and try to contact the grandchild on their cellphone directly to verify whether it is them.
- Technical Support. Scammers often rely on seniors clicking buttons on a computer without knowing the ramifications of it. They may call your home or send you an email saying that your computer has been hacked and that you need to pay them to fix the issue. Be careful of all such communications and do not reveal personal or financial information. Rely on technical support individuals who you can see in person or be able to hold accountable.
- Government Agency Impersonations. A telephone call from the IRS, Social Security Administration or Medicare may not be what it appears. A scammer may claim to be from one of these agencies and request personally identifying information from you, or even cash or wire transfers. Some scammers may go as far as using telephone numbers that look like they are coming from one of these government agencies.
If you are a current client and feel like you are a victim of one of these scams, feel free to call us to talk about your options.