Have you ever received a suspicious phone call or email? Your parents or elderly relatives most likely have. Police and prosecutors say scams against seniors are on the rise nationwide.
Here are some common scams targeted towards older adults:
- Lottery phone scams in which callers convince seniors that a large fee or taxes must be paid before they can receive lottery winnings
- Grandparent scams which convince seniors that their grandchildren have been arrested and need bail money
- Romance scams which lull victims to believe that their online paramour needs funds for a U.S. visit or some other purpose
- IRS imposter schemes which defraud victims by posing as IRS agents and claiming that victims owe back taxes
Protect yourself and your loved ones with these tips:
- 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!
- 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.
- Ask callers demanding money for outstanding bills for their supervisor’s contact information so you can determine if the call is legitimate.
- Don’t believe promises of prizes. Don’t provide personal information to anybody promising lottery or contest winnings.