The world has always been tricky, but the way that tricky occurs seems to becoming faster and more sophisticated. This day in age you need to keep up to date on the risks that exist so you are not the statistic.
Visit the links below to get up to date on some risks that exists.
- FBI Covers SCAMS AND SAFETY
- Department of Justice covers Active Scams
- 12 Common Senior Scams and How to Avoid Them
- Common Scams that Target the Elderly
- AARP Events Warn About Popular Scams
Some general rules to follow seem common sense when reading them, but all of us can get caught off guard if we don't have our minds wired to handle these situations as a reaction.
First, log your interactions. I cannot tell you how many times I have came across a scam, but by the time I realized it was a scam, I had not recorded critical information required by authorities to catch the bad people, and by the time I realized it, I could not remember the important stuff. So get in the habit of having something close by to record interactions. For some people they use a Notes app on their phone, some use a simple note pad they keep with them at all times. And this will also help out even when things are not scams, how many times have you said to yourself "I wish I would have written that down". Record things like dates/times names used, caller ID and numbers. Rule is record the nouns and be able to describe them.
Next, Urgency feeling is a red flag. If a caller, email or web browser popup try's to present urgency to act, chances are it is not good. Hang up, delete the email or close the web browser. And speaking of computer pop ups, you will never get a legitimate business offer to fix your computer through a web browser pop up; they are always fake.
Private information should not be shared. Regardless of reason. If the FBI calls you and asks for your drivers license number don't give it. Chances are it is not the FBI, they will not do that. I have done a lot of phone system programming and the one thing that is well known is we can make a caller ID and phone number say anything we want it to, and it is super easy to do.
When you receive a call DO NOT
- No Credit card info
- No Drivers license info
- No Social Security Number
Common Fraud Schemes
- Romance scam: Criminals pose as interested romantic partners on social media or dating websites to capitalize on their elderly victims’ desire to find companions.
- Tech support scam: Criminals pose as technology support representatives and offer to fix non-existent computer issues. The scammers gain remote access to victims’ devices and sensitive information.
- Grandparent scam: Criminals pose as a relative—usually a child or grandchild—claiming to be in immediate financial need.
- Government impersonation scam: Criminals pose as government employees and threaten to arrest or prosecute victims unless they agree to provide funds or other payments.
- Sweepstakes/charity/lottery scam: Criminals claim to work for legitimate charitable organizations to gain victims’ trust. Or they claim their targets have won a foreign lottery or sweepstake, which they can collect for a “fee.”
- Home repair scam: Criminals appear in person and charge homeowners in advance for home improvement services that they never provide.
- TV/radio scam: Criminals target potential victims using illegitimate advertisements about legitimate services, such as reverse mortgages or credit repair.
- Family/caregiver scam: Relatives or acquaintances of the elderly victims take advantage of them or otherwise get their money.