From the original Ponzi scheme in 1920 to snake oil salesmen in the 19th century, scams are nothing new. As the decades have passed, scams have changed with the times, becoming more evolved and harder to detect–especially for people who are not technically savvy.
According to the FBI, seniors are often the targets of these scams due to factors like savings accounts, good credit, and a trusting nature. It’s estimated seniors lose more than $3 billion a year to fraudsters, and that’s why it’s crucial to stay on top of the latest trends. Here is a look at some of the most common scams targeting seniors in 2021.
Because the COVID-19 vaccine is so new, you may not be familiar with the types of scams used to trick people out of money. Remember, if you’re asked to pay out of pocket to get the vaccine, it’s a scam. We know that Medicare will pay for the COVID-19 vaccine in full, and you will not be asked to pay out of pocket for it.
With so many generations on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, there’s another COVID-related scam to keep an eye out for. If you or a loved one received a vaccine, and then posted a selfie with your vaccination card, there’s some cause for concern. With your full name, birth date and information about where you received your shot, scammers can use that data for scams like identity theft or falsified credit card applications.
Zoom Phishing E-mails
Con artists registered thousands of fake Zoom-related internet domains in the early months of the pandemic. According to the Better Business Bureau, they did so in an effort to send out e-mails that look like they’re actually from Zoom.
The Zoom phishing scam will involve either an e-mail, text or social media message with the Zoom logo. The prompt essentially instructs you to click on a link under the pretense your account was suspended or you missed a meeting. By clicking the link, scammers are given the opportunity to download malicious software on your devices in order to access personal information or search for passwords.
Online Dating Scams
Finding love the old fashioned way can be difficult, but in the world of online dating, a new kind of dating debacle can arise. Be cautious of connections that seem too good to be true; they just might steal your heart, and your money.
These types of scams will start with your potential love connection gaining your trust on a dating app or online. Without ever meeting in person, these types of thieves will often ask for money or gift cards. They can come up with elaborate stories, and use your generosity to make a quick buck. It’s often too late once the victim realizes they’ve been fooled, and by that point, the scammer is often untraceable.
Do you have more questions about taking care of your aging loved ones or know of a new scam targeting seniors?
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As the most experienced CPA in the Inland Empire who specializes in working with seniors, Marcia L. Campbell is committed to helping each client thrive by caring for their personal and financial wellbeing with genuine interest, well-established expertise, and a focus on respectful partnerships. Marcia’s team specializes in a number of services including elder & financial care, court & trust accountings as well as private fiduciary and tax services. At Marcia L. Campbell, CPA, we understand the importance of our clients’ individual needs and are committed to helping them make the best personal and financial decisions for their future.