Cona Elder Law

A senior citizen on the phone holding a credit card avoiding financial fraud

Senior Scams are on the Rise: Tips to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones

Online scams targeting seniors have existed for as long as seniors have been going online. The newest scams rely on victims’ familiarity with legitimate services.Newsday recently reported a Geek Squad email scam that targeted one senior in particular. Diane Belz, 68, had no reason to be suspicious when she opened an email claiming to be from Best Buy’s Geek Squad, as she had opted for a Geek Squad technical support plan when she bought her MacBook in 2017.

The email stated that her support plan had been extended for three years and her credit card was charged $392.95. If she wanted to reverse the charge, she’d need to call the customer support number in the email within 24 hours.

Dialing that number was a decision Belz, who ultimately lost $1,800, came to regret… Click here to continue reading.

Protect yourself and your loved ones with these tips:

✔ If you get a call about technical support or a warranty for a product you own, hang up, find your warranty or tech support documents and call the number listed on those materials.

✔ Emails requesting personal information such as Social Security Numbers, bank routing numbers and credit card information should be considered suspicious. NEVER provide this information via e-mail!

✔ Do not purchase gift cards as a form of payment and provide the card’s PIN number. If you receive a call or email asking for payment by gift card, know that it’s a scam.

✔ Verify information provided by callers: if a caller says a loved one is in jail and needs help, call that loved one to verify the information.

✔ Internal Revenue Service officials never call or email demanding immediate payment or threaten to call law enforcement for an outstanding tax bill.

✔ Utility companies do not offer to come to your home to pick up cash for outstanding bills.

✔ Don’t believe promises of prizes. Don’t provide personal information to anybody promising lottery or contest winnings.

ALWAYS REPORT! Very few scams like this get reported, often because the senior is ashamed to have allowed this to happen to them. Unfortunately, it is a lot more common than you may think – which is why it is so important to report a scam. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the main agency that collects scam reports. Report your scam online or by phone at 1.877.382.4357.

About the Author Cona Elder Law

Cona Elder Law is a full service law firm based in Melville, LI. Our firm concentrates in the areas of elder law, estate planning, estate administration and litigation, special needs planning and health care facility representation. We are proud to have been recognized for our innovative strategies, creative techniques and unparalleled negotiating skills unendingly driven toward our paramount objective - satisfying the needs of our clients.

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