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Protect Yourself from Scams

Senior on their laptop.

Scammers have become more sophisticated, especially with the rise of technology. Financial scams especially have seen an increase in occurrences. While financial scams are common and can target someone from any age, scams specifically targeting seniors are consistently on the rise.

Keep reading to raise your awareness and learn how to protect yourself from the most common scams targeting seniors.

Common Scams Targeting Seniors

Phone Scams

Charity Scams – Most often occurring after natural disasters or other tragedies, like the COVID-19 virus, a scammer will call and ask for “donations” to charities that do not exist. Many charities do not call to solicit for money – if you want to confirm the validity of a charity, check out the IRS Tax Organization Exemption Search prior to donating.

IRS Scam – The IRS typically first contacts citizens in the mail, but scammers will use a phone call to impersonate an IRS officer saying they need to “pay a fine.” They will ask for personal information, sometimes in a threatening manor, and use this to steal money.

Email Scams

PayPal Scam – In an effort to find PayPal login information and steal money, a scammer sends a fake PayPal email claiming that the user’s account has been hacked and they need to sign in to change account settings. Confirm that the sender’s email address is legitimate before entering login information.

Contest Winner Scam – There’s a saying that if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Unfortunately, this is proven true in the case of contest scams. An illegitimate email is sent to a user claiming that they have received a large sum of money, but in order to claim their money, they must provide personal information. One way to avoid this is to look at the email address the email is sent “to.” If it does not explicitly state your email, it may be a generic email sent to a large list of people.

Software Scams

Anti-Virus Scams – Recipients of an email are prompted to pay for false anti-virus software or, worse, install malware on the computer disguised as anti-virus software. Don’t download software you have not verified is legitimate.

Tech Support Scams – This involves a scammer posing as an employee of a tech support company and asking for remote access to someone’s computer to solve a problem, giving them the ability to install malware and steal personal information. However, tech companies do not typically reach out and offer to help you fix your computer – so do not accept help under these circumstances.

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Explore our communities for more information and contact us today to schedule your personal tour.

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