Seniors lose an estimated $2.9 billion on scams each year. Unfortunately, seniors are a targeted group because they may not be as aware of scams as other age groups. Becoming aware of these scams can put seniors at less of a risk. Signs of fraud can help seniors avoid becoming victims of this rising form of financial crime.
Top 7 Senior Scams to Avoid
1. IRS Impersonation
One of the main schemes that works against seniors is someone impersonating the IRS. More than 2.4 million Americans have been targeted with this tactic. Since 2013 around 14,700 taxpayers have lost more than $72.8 million due to scammers. They manipulate seniors by saying that they owe taxes and threaten with foreclosure, arrest, or deportation if they don’t pay.
Robocalls consist of callers masking their identity with fake phone numbers and pretend to be from the government or use a fake identity to get personal information. Approximately 2.4 billion robocalls are made every month. Once they get your bank account information they use it to access senior funds.
3. Sweepstakes Scammers
Someone acts as if a senior has won the lottery and that they need to pay a fee to collect their winnings. At one point callers from Jamaica were making 30,000 calls a day to America pretending to be part of the sweepstakes, stealing over $300 million a year from thousands of seniors. Beware of callers from a “876” area code number.
4. Computer Tech Support Fraud
Callers act as if they are helping a customer with a virus on their computer, in which they give personal information and bank account numbers. 3.3 million people are affected by this every year, in which $1.5 billion is stolen.
5. Senior Finance Abuse
This occurs when a senior’s funds are used in an illegal or improper way. $2.9 billion is lost every year due to financial exploitation. The ones doing this can be family members, paid home-care workers or strangers that are taking advantage of seniors’ financial decision-making.
6. Grandparent Scams
A scam that pulls on senior’s heartstrings is an imposter acting as if their grandchild has been taken. In order to get their grandchild back they must pay money. You can prevent this by having a code word for you and your grandchild that only the two of you know for situations like these.
7. Romance Frauds
Seniors can be prone to loneliness, so scammers take advantage of this. If a senior is using a dating site, someone can build trust with them then start using them. The scammer can ask for money for medical emergencies, hotel expenses, hospital bills, or visas.
The Victorian Assisted Living and Retirement Community
The Victorian is an assisted living and retirement community that makes living independently, while at the same time feeling safe and secure, a reality. We strive to provide the best quality of life for all residents including those suffering from loneliness and depression.
We offer a comprehensive activity program that includes both physical and social activities to encourage emotional well-being. Our staff is trained to assist those with depression. If you or a loved one are considering assisted living, contact The Victorian today to learn more about our services or tour our community.