Major Scams Targeting Older Americans Are On The Rise

By Gary Webb, RFC

Older adults lose millions to fraud every year. Whether it is Zoom phishing
emails, phony online websites, or scams such as Google Voice, gift cards,
romance, and others. Please be leery when you receive phone calls, emails,
venture online or on social media sites.


For example, you receive an email, text or social media message with the
Zoom logo telling you to click on a link because your account is suspended
or you missed a meeting. Clicking can allow criminals to download malicious
software onto your computer.


Criminals attempt to impersonate popular websites by adding a few letters or a word like “free” within the link. The link appears legit, but it is not. The fraudulent site will encourage you to divulge personal information.

 

According to AARP, one scam works like this. You place your profile on an online dating site and a potential partner, that does not live in the same city or state, entices you with their charm, intelligence, and good looks. Though you become attached, you never seem to be able to meet this person. Eventually, an emergency, business crisis, or some type of problem “unexpectedly” surfaces, and you are asked to send money. If you give them funds, they will continue to prey on you until you figure it out. It seems obvious, but never underestimate how easily you can be tricked when your emotions are affecting your decisions.

 

If you are a senior, please be careful. These scammers want the money you have spent your life saving, investing and protecting. If you have parents who are in retirement, they are at risk. You may want to keep a close eye on what they are doing with emails, phone calls and when they visit websites. Your involvement may prevent them from being defrauded and alleviate the associated stress for them and you.