Technology today provides scammers with more ways to exploit older adults than ever before. Here are three things to know about scams that target many of us.
1. Government scams are prevalent. For example, a scammer may claim to be a Medicare representative; they call their victims to verify their Medicare number, which can be used to steal health benefits. Another related scam is to claim the victim needs to pay a fee for a new card or medical treatments, and they steal their credit card number. Other scammers may claim to be from the IRS, saying there’s an issue with their tax return. Scammers use sensitive information to commit identity theft and file for fake tax refunds.
2. Sometimes the scammer maybe someone close to the victim and may attempt to gain access to the older adult’s assets or credit, or the older adult may be tricked into signing documents. Warning signs include new accounts and/or loans, credit inquiries the older adult didn’t request, or unfamiliar credit card charges. Credit monitoring is one way to combat against this type of scam.
3. To avoid getting tricked by a scammer, it can help to have a note next to the phone and the computer to remind us to think twice about whether a phone call or email seems suspicious. If someone is pressing to act quickly, hang up the phone or close the email immediately.
For more information about assistance for older adults, please contact:
110 N. 5th Avenue W
Newton, Iowa 50208