Seniors lost approximately $3 billion to scams in 2020 according to the Senate Special Committee on Aging. But scammers not only attempt to target seniors, they use various channels, including phone calls, text messages, emails, voicemail and social media sites to scam any unsuspecting person. Watch out for these common tactics:
A fraudster uses the enticement of wealth, a so-called “common interest” or an online dating relationship to trick you into sending them money.
Products and services scams
Someone offers you a product or service in order to mine your personal data or overcharge you, often without delivering what they promised.
Tips to protect yourself
- Don’t trust Caller ID. Scammers can spoof phone numbers.
- Avoid giving personal information over the phone.
- Don’t download files or click links in unsolicited texts, emails or social media messages.
- Consult with trusted family and friends before making big financial decisions.
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry.
- Get a copy of your credit report through annualcreditreport.com and monitor your accounts regularly.
- Thoroughly research people, organizations and their claims. Look up phone numbers and online reviews about organizations, use reverse image search for people you meet online, and read all contracts and agreements before signing.
- Avoid situations where you are asked to forward money or packages.
- Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission.
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