Senior Scams Are on the Rise This Holiday Season: Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones

By on December 9, 2019

According to AARP, women over 50 and seniors lose billions of dollars each year to scams and those with less than honest intentions. With the holidays here, scammers ramp up their efforts to steal consumers’ money and personal information. Let us help you recognize the red flags of a scam, and protect you or your older relatives from becoming a victim.

Here are some common holiday scams going around this year;

Online Shopping Scams:

Avoid the deals that are “Too Good to be True”! Shopping online is a quick and convenient way to order holiday gifts, but it also opens the door to the risk of fraud or identity theft. If your senior loved one enjoys online shopping, remind them to use a credit card instead of a debit card to deter fraud. Encourage them to only shop from well-known and trusted online retailers. 

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Charity Scams:

Many people enjoy donating to charities during the holidays. But all too often, scammers take advantage of people’s generosity to solicit donations on behalf of phony charities. Be on the lookout for scammers who contact you or your senior loved ones via mail, phone, email, social media, or even coming knocking on the door asking for donations.

Lottery Phone Scams:

Scammers convince the victims that they have won a large payout. All that is needed is for taxes to be pre-paid. Real Lottery operators deduct taxes from the winnings and never request funds from you in order to receive the payout.

Grandparent Scams

None of us would want to receive the call that a grandchild is sick, in jail or difficult position. Scammers work on our emotions to act irrationally and impulsively. Always get a telephone number and make arrangements to meet in person, even if it be at the Police station.

Protect yourself and your loved ones with these tips:

  • Think before you act. 
  • A lot of personal information is public these days, do not just believe the claims
  • Never give out the personal or financial information online, over the phone, or via text message. 
  • Never wire money to someone you don’t know. 
  • Check your credit card and bank statements frequently for errors or fraudulent charges. The sooner you spot suspicious activity, the sooner you can take steps to correct it. 
  • Verify the information provided by callers: if a caller says a loved one is in jail and needs help, call that loved one to verify the information.
  • Ask callers demanding money for outstanding bills for their supervisor’s contact information so you can determine if the call is legitimate.
  • Don’t believe promises of prizes. Don’t provide personal information to anybody promising lottery or contest winnings.
  • You can always use an online directory such as GuideStar or Charity Navigator to verify a charity’s authenticity before donating.

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Senior Scams Are on the Rise This Holiday Season: Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones