Every year scammers find new approaches to get ahold of your personal information and your finances. We find that most of these scammers will target the elderly because they are the most vulnerable.
In this blog, we share some scam tactics that you should be aware of throughout the year to keep you and your loved ones safe.
3 Scams From 2019 Still Being Used Today
Sweepstakes & Lottery Scams
Scammers will inform their victims that they have won a lottery or sweepstakes and that they will need to make a payment to unlock the prize. Seniors will usually be sent a check that they can deposit in their bank account. The scammer is aware that the prize money will show up in their account immediately, and it will take a few days before the (fake) check is rejected.
During that time, scammers will quickly collect money for fees or taxes on the prize while the victim has the “prize money” in their account. Once the check bounces, the “prize money” will be removed from his or her account, and the scammer will pocket the fees and tax money they have collected.
The internet is not something that most seniors are consistently using or are familiar with, which is why it puts them at more risk of purchasing fraudulent anti-virus software or downloading harmful viruses that will allow scammers to hack their computers to steal money and personal information.
If you’ve been shrewd with your money you are likely set for your retirement, but don’t let your preparation make you an easy target for thieves. You’ve stashed money away, and because of this, it makes you more receptive to pyramid schemes and other scenarios that encourage you to invest in your future, especially now that you are no longer working.
Related Article: How to Reduce Scammer and Spam Calls
New Scams Becoming More Frequent in 2020
Anti-Aging Product Scams
As you age, you may be thinking about how nice it would be to look young again. Scammers will take advantage of this and lead you to believe that their products are better than the leading brands. Usually, the products are counterfeit, and if made poorly, can cause health issues.
As you grow older, you will most likely invest time and money into the home you own and build equity in your home. Scammers have sent letters to different properties on “behalf of the County Assessor’s Office”. The letter is known to identify the property’s assessed value and offer the homeowner a reassessment of the property’s value with fees and taxes. The scammer will pocket the taxes and fees for the fake reassessment.
Family is important, especially as you grow older. Scammers know that they can use that knowledge to their advantage. Scammers will place a call and will say something such as: “Hi Grandma, do you know who this is?”. When the unsuspecting grandparent guesses a name of one of her grandchildren, the scammer will agree and usually beg that they don’t tell their parents, but that they are in desperate need for money to solve some unexpected financial problem (overdue utility bills, payment for car repairs, the grandchild is in jail and needs to get bail money etc.), to be paid via Western Union or MoneyGram, which typically don’t require personal identification to collect most of the time.
Have You Seen Another Scam? Let us know!
Scammers are becoming more creative over time, which is why it is important to stay up to date on current scams. If you have any additional scams that you have come across, please comment below.
If you or your loved one needs guidance on your finances, contact us at 951-686-3608 to find out how we can help.