Senior Care in New Canaan, CT
With cellphone and internet usage being so widespread in today’s world, many criminals have developed elaborate scams to get seniors to to surrender their personal information, large sums of money, or both. It is unfortunate that seniors who should be enjoying their retirement and spending time with loved ones need to worry about these scams, but when seniors stay well-informed about the techniques of scammers, they can protect themselves from becoming a victim. Below are some common scams that target senior citizens and information about how these scams can be avoided.
The Grandchild Scam
This scam manipulates seniors by scaring them into sending money to scammers. For this scam, scammers often use the phone, email, or even social media. A scammer claiming to be a senior’s grandchild will call (or email) and say that they are in some kind of emergency situation and need money immediately. Oftentimes the caller will call in the middle of the night to even further scare their victim and catch them off-guard. To make their case more realistic, these scammers may even use information about seniors that they can find on social media. Seniors who believe they may be being targeted by the grandchild scam should try to identify the number that the caller is calling from so that they can report it. Seniors who are truly worried that their grandchild may be in danger can call other relatives to confirm that it was, in fact, a scammer and not their grandchild that made the call.
The IRS Scam
By claiming to be from a known government agency like the IRS, scammers assume their victims will trust them enough to give them their personal information and more. Often these scammers will call seniors insisting that they owe money in taxes and demand that they be paid right away or else they will suffer consequences such as being arrested or getting their license suspended. In response to this very common scam, the IRS has assured the public that they will never contact taxpayers by phone, email, or social media. The IRS urges seniors never to give personal information or money to these scammers and that if they truly owe any taxes, the IRS will always send them an official bill in the mail.
Most scams are very similar to the ones listed above, but could have some slight differences. For example, sometimes a scammer will claim to be a Medicare representative (instead of being from the IRS). Seniors who believe that they are being targeted, should be careful not to reveal any personal information and report the scam right away to prevent anyone else from being victimized.