10 Tips To Avoid The Most Popular Senior Scams

At an instant, a senior can lose all his life-long savings to scammers. Scammers range from someone passing as your neighbor or one you just met online. Being a senior, you should be extra careful as you are a prime target of scammers. Here are some of the most common scams that target seniors and how to avoid them:

Sweepstakes and Lottery Scams

This scam has been going on for years but if you are not yet familiar with it, you can be an easy prey. Scammers use this method of scamming seniors of their life-long savings. At first, you will be contacted through e-mail, voice call, or text to announce that you won a lottery. And in order to claim your prize, you have to deposit a certain amount of cash for ‘taxes,’ ‘processing fees,’ or whatever. The scammer may sound so believable and he will be contacting you many times until you give in. If he thinks that you are not giving in any time soon, threats may follow.

In order to protect yourself from such scams, never reply to any e-mails or texts from unknown individuals. You know for yourself if you joined a contest or not. It may be impossible to win a contest or sweepstakes without joining it. You should report it to authorities if the threat continues.

Sweetheart Scams

Seniors who have no partners either because of the death of a spouse or divorce are the primary target of this scam. If you are a senior who signed up on a dating app, you can be an easy victim. A scammer will act as if the affection is mutual until gaining your trust. Stories will be fabricated and soon you will know that you are sending money already.

When it’s time for your meet up, the scammer may not be contacted anymore
You can avoid this scam if you don’t use dating apps. Search around your community and there may be one waiting for you. If you can’t resist it, don’t send a large amount of money.

Tech Support Fraud

This scam usually preys on seniors. It uses your being naïve to the latest technology to fraud you. A fraudster may pose as a crew of a company and may entice you to divulge your personal information. You will be told that it is needed to repair some technical issues with your device.

To avoid this scam, never entertain someone telling you that there may be something wrong with your computer. Instead, install antivirus software. This will enable you to know where the messages are coming from.

Homeowner and Reverse Mortgage Scams

If you receive an email or text telling you that you are being offered a free home, refinancing assistance, or some investment opportunities, never get too excited and respond. This is a scam and you can lose your savings if you give your personal information.

To avoid this scam, never reply to any of their emails.

Obituary Scams

This can be one of the most infuriating scams that prey on seniors. A scammer will attend a wake and inform you that your dead spouse has an outstanding debt. If you do not postpone the payment and pay on the spot, you are duped with your money.

To avoid this, don’t pay anything without investigating first. Look for pieces of evidence. This should be a lesson not to give too much information in obituaries.

Medicare and Health Insurance Scams

In this type of scam, fraudsters will act as Medicare representatives offering some dubious services. You will be asked for your personal information. They will use those “services” rendered to you to be paid by Medicare. They are so believable that you will have a doubt that they are fake.

Never divulge your Medicare number. It is also best to take a look at your monthly statements from here on.

Telemarketing Phone Scams

Online and shopping over the phone are also trending with seniors. This is understandable as going to the grocery may take much effort. But while it provides more convenience, it also makes them an easy target of telemarketing phone scams. With this type of scam, a criminal will ask for donations to a charitable activity. Of course, there is no charity activity that will happen, you only donated your money to a criminal.

You can avoid this scam by shopping only from stores you are familiar with. As to donating to charity, always make sure that it is legit before parting with your hard-earned money.

Counterfeit Prescription Drugs Scam

If you use the internet to buy your medications, be careful with this one. You may be buying counterfeit drugs or there will never be a delivery.

Online stores do not get the same regulatory procedure as land-based stores get from authorities. It is still best to buy prescription drugs from licensed pharmacies.

Investment Scams

Seniors are being told to invest some of their retirement money so they can earn more. But if you are not cautious, you may not be aware that you are being offered to invest in a non-existing business.

To protect you from this kind of scam, always ask for the license of the business you are going to invest in.

Grandparents Scam

Of course, you love your grandchildren and you may do anything to help them. This is being used by scammers to fraud grandparents. They will pose as a grandchild of a senior and dupe them from their money by phone. It would always look like an emergency, so the senior may have no time to rethink his actions.

By having the contact numbers of all your grandchildren, this can be avoided. Call your grandchild who is in distress according to the phone call and verify.

You must have saved long enough for your retirement. You deserve to enjoy every bit of it. Don’t allow yourself to be scammed. Always be alert and never trust people you just met over the phone, through the internet, or down the street. Don’t be too trusting. We may not be living in the wilderness, but there are beasts running around wild and free, seeking their prey.

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