Five Points Bank Blog
Be Alert For Scams Targeting The Elderly
Scammers often target the elderly because they tend to have money and can sometimes be too trusting.
Crooks who prey on this population often use the telephone or Internet to trick their victims with promises of prize money, threats designed to scare them into sending money, or companionship.
Here are some of the most common scams to trick senior citizens out of their precious savings:
Medical-related scams are used to steal money or personal information. The crooks behind these scams will tell their victims that they are collecting unpaid medical bills or that they need personal information such as Social Security or financial account numbers to process claims. They may also claim that they can reduce prescription bills by hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Computer-related scams can include unsolicited claims that your computer has problems, the spreading of malware via attachments or bad links, and phishing for personal information such as account or card numbers.
Prize or charity scams try to trick you out of money by telling you that you need to send money to claim a prize, or crooks pretend to represent charities that might be related to disasters in the news.
Repairs that cost too much or don’t get made. Repair scammers will either charge too much for their services or they might start a job, require payment then leave without finishing.
IRS or utility scams happen when you get a call or email threatening that unless you make immediate payments you will be jailed or have your services cut off.
Scams of the heart include things like the Grandchild Scam or Sweetheart Scam. These include someone portraying a family member who has fallen on hard times and needs you to send money fast, or a new romantic interest who wants you to send them money.
What can you do?
Experts say it’s always best to be cautious when it comes to your money and who you can trust.
Here are a few tips to help protect yourself or someone you know:
If someone threatens you or demands that you wire money or pay via a prepaid card, hang up or close the email. Most legitimate businesses or agencies will not do this.
It’s always best to be cautious to avoid being a scam victim.