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2 Tactics Criminals Use to Steal From Older Adults
THE 2 MOST COMMON WAYS CRIMINALS STEAL FROM SENIORS
And How to Spot Them
Scamming older adults has become big business. According to the
If you ever receive a contract from an unknown entity out of nowhere, you should start seeing red flags. Unless you remember entering a contest, there is no chance you’ve won something. And it’s vital to understand that it is never safe to give out financial information over the phone or via email.
American Journal for Public Health, an estimated 5 percent of seniors are hoodwinked by criminals every year, and that statistic is thought to be a steep underestimate since so many scams go unreported. To stem the tide of seniors unknowingly giving $36 billion to scammers annually, it’s important for retirees and their loved ones to get savvy on the subject.
COMPUTER SOFTWARE SERVICE FRAUD
This type of scam is slightly more sophisticated. First, a hacker will call a victim and claim to be a member of a tech support team or an employee from a trusted company like Microsoft or Apple. Then, they’ll tell the victim there is a problemwith their phone or computer and that if they cooperate with the“tech support”representative, they can sort it out. They may also ask you to install a piece of software on your device or provide credit card information to“validate your software.” The fact is that well-known tech companies will never send unsolicited emails to ask for your personal or financial information, and they definitely won’t ask you to install some shady software on your computer. If you ever receive a call out of the blue from“Microsoft,” hang up the phone immediately. The first step to stopping these criminals in their tracks is to be aware of their tactics. With these tips in your arsenal, you’ll be able to defend yourself and your bank account effectively.
Here are the two of the most common scams older folks fall prey to — and how to avoid them.
ADVANCED FEE FRAUD
The most common con in 2017 and 2018 was the classic “You’ve won a sweepstakes!” scam. Victims are told they’ve won some exorbitant amount of money, but they must pay a fee to receive the prize. After the “fee” is paid, victims receive a fake check in the mail, but by the time it bounces, the scammers are gone and they’ve taken the money.
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