Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Tech Scams & Fraud
Thursday, May 23rd 4:30pm-6pm. Click HERE to RSVP!
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Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Tech Scams & Fraud
Thursday, May 23rd 4:30pm-6pm. Click HERE to RSVP!
Open Mobile Menu
senior scam

How to Protect Your Senior Loved Ones from Tech Frauds and Scams

Scams targeting seniors are not only increasingly common but profoundly damaging for them and their families.

The financial repercussions for seniors caught in these scams are staggering—according to the FBI’s 2022 Internet Crime Report, people over the age of 60 lost over $1.7 billion to various senior scams.

Each instance of fraud can cost seniors thousands of dollars, which is often irreplaceable for those on fixed incomes.

To prevent senior scams for your loved one, join us for our upcoming event “Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Tech Scams & Fraud” on May 23rd with Amy Burk, who has over 25 years of experience training adults to use technology and build confidence in their technology skills. The goal of this event is to also raise awareness and learn how to protect your loved one.

Our promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own.

What are the most common types of senior scams?

Scammers, fraudsters, and deceitful bots deploy tactics to deceive seniors into disclosing confidential information, such as social security numbers, or to trick them into handing over money.

These scams may also involve phishing or spoofing attempts to access personal email accounts and financial data, such as login credentials for bank or investment accounts.

Government impersonation scams

Scammers pretend to be IRS officials, Social Security Administration, or Medicare, claiming the senior has unpaid taxes or other legal problems. They may threaten arrest or claim benefits will be cut unless immediate payment is made.

Tech support scams

These involve fraudsters claiming that the senior’s computer or another device is compromised. They may prompt the senior to pay for unnecessary tech support services or gain remote access to steal personal information.

The grandparent scam

Scammers contact a senior pretending to be a grandchild or other family member in distress, asking for money urgently for issues like bail money, medical bills, or other emergency expenses.

Sweepstakes and lottery scams

Victims receive calls claiming they’ve won a large sum of money or a prize in a sweepstakes but must pay a fee or provide bank account details to claim their winnings.

Robocalls and phone scams

Using automated systems, these calls may claim that a car warranty is expiring or that the senior has unpaid bills. They often use caller ID spoofing to appear more legitimate.

Romance scams ‘catfishing’

Scammers create fake profiles on dating sites or social media to form relationships with seniors, known as ‘catfishing’, gradually persuading them to send money for various fabricated reasons.

Business imposter scams

Scammers pose as representatives from a well-known business or charity to manipulate seniors into sending money or personal information.

Investment scams

These scams promise low-risk investments with high returns, often involving complex financial products or cryptocurrencies that are difficult to understand.

Medicare and health insurance scams

Imposters pose as Medicare representatives to get personal information from seniors or offer fake services at makeshift clinics and bill Medicare for non-existent treatments.

Internet and email fraud ‘spoofing and phishing’

There are two important fraud terms to be aware of: spoofing and phishing.

Generally, spoofing and phishing work together.

  • Spoofing is the practice of making a fake email address look legitimate. For example, an email might appear from Amazon.com, but upon closer inspection the email address was sent from service@amaz0n.com, tricking the person into thinking it’s a real email address.
  • Phishing is when a person is sent a malicious link or attachment in a spoofed email. For example, once a person clicks on the fake Amazon link in their spoofed email, they are taken to a fake Amazon website where they are prompted to enter their real email address and Amazon password, giving scammers access to their account to make fraudulent purchases.

The “Can You Hear Me?” scam

A scammer asks this question during a call and records the senior’s voice saying “yes,” which is then used to authorize fraudulent charges. If a person asks you this without any additional information, just hang up and don’t say “yes.”

Impending lawsuit scam

Callers claim to be from a legal or law enforcement agency, telling seniors they’ll be sued or arrested if they don’t pay a supposed fine immediately.

How to use email safely: identifying and avoiding fake links

Email is one of the primary ways scammers can hack your accounts to gain access to your bank account, social media accounts, and e-commerce accounts, such as Amazon.

How to identify fake links to maintain your online security

  • Always check the sender’s email address, even if the name appears familiar. Look for subtle misspellings that differ from the real address.
  • Hover over links in emails before clicking on them. Move your mouse over the email without clicking. The real website name will show at the bottom of your browser. Don’t click on the link if the website names don’t match.
  • Be mindful of poor grammar and misspellings, which are major red flags of scams.
  • Be skeptical of urgent language that demands quick action to solve an alleged issue.
  • Never open attachments from unknown senders—they could give your computer a virus.

Preventative measures and supportive steps against senior scams

Most scams are sophisticated and online, however, many are still done over the phone.

Follow these practical measures to prevent senior scams from affecting your family.

Safeguard personal information

Seniors should keep personal details private, especially when contacted by unsolicited emails, calls, or messages. Regularly update passwords and utilize security features like multi-factor authentication.

Use technology for scam protection

Invest in antivirus software and use apps designed to block suspicious calls and emails. These can alert seniors and caregivers to potential scams before they cause harm.

Stay in touch with your loved one

Consistently check in with senior family members to review any unusual calls, emails, or financial transactions they’ve experienced.

What to do if an elder has been scammed

Quickly report any suspected scams to local authorities, financial institutions, and relevant support networks like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or local Adult Protective Services.

Contact the senior’s bank and other scammed accounts to lock them down, change passwords, and complete any other recommended security measures.

Compassionate care at The Kensington Falls Church

Step into The Kensington Falls Church, located in the heart of Falls Church, Virginia, where we excel in providing top-tier assisted living and specialized memory care.

Experience a community committed to senior safety and excellence in dementia and Alzheimer’s care, engaging social activities, all-day gourmet dining, expert medical support, and easy access to transportation.

Contact us today to learn more about our exceptional services and to schedule a personal tour of The Kensington Falls Church.

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