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Tips for Seniors: Scammers Target Seniors

Tips for Seniors: Scammers Target Seniors

Scammers prey on seniors, due to their erroneous belief seniors have socked-away serious funds for retirement. Also, they view the senior population as more trusting than younger people. Plus, many seniors have cognitive impairment, which impairs decision-making capabilities.

The National Council on Aging suggests that financial scams targeting seniors are the “crime of the 21st century.

So, keep your scam prevention sensors on high alert. And now let’s explore scams targeting seniors.

Threatening Phone Calls from Bogus IRS Employees:

Beware of threatening phone calls or recorded messages from a person claiming to be an IRS official. They put on their serious voice and issue an ultimatum: Pay up or face the consequences.

Know This: If you owe back taxes, the IRS will not call without sending you a notice by mail first.  

If you hang up, the scammer likely calls back using intimidating tactics such as tax audit, lawsuit or arrest. Hang up again.

Internet Fraud

Beaucoup scams involve the Internet. Among the most annoying and downright scary is the Microsoft scam. A pop-up window appears from nowhere, bearing (fake) error messages, urging you to contact (fake) tech support.

You’re not interested and try to close the browser. But, these brilliant cybercriminals have locked your browser, to frighten you into calling their (phony) “tech support hotline.”  Don’t.

Know This: Warning or error messages from the real Microsoft will not supply a telephone number.

Instead, click Alt, Ctrl, Del at the same time, then Shut Down. Once you sign back on, delete your browsing history and cookies or temp files.

Grandparent Scam

The most despicable of scams has proven a slam-dunk for (fake) grandchildren. They trigger granny or granddaddy’s emotions, to hoodwink them into sending money for (fake) overdue rent, hospital bills, etc. Before the grandparents realize it, the phony grandkid empties their bank account, through repeated “emergency” needs for money.

Final Thoughts

Financial exploitation of seniors is on the rise. Make a scam prevention plan and enforce it. Malicious scammers can’t use you as a cash cow if you’re in the know. Refuse to get swindled!

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