Received a call from a suspicious number or got an email that says you’ve won the lottery? Beware, these could be scammers trying to trick you. Fake phone calls and emails are some common scams targeting your elderly loved one. Often, fraudsters like to prey on the elderly because they are thought to have huge amounts of money inside their banks. Furthermore, their lack of knowledge in internet safety increases their vulnerability to online scams.
While your elderly loved one may be more susceptible to scams, this doesn’t mean you’re spared. From social media scams to romance scams, swindlers use different methods to target various age groups. Teens and adults can easily fall prey to it if they’re not careful. Here are some common scams to take note of so you can keep your loved one safe from scammers.
The internet is an extremely useful tool but it’s also a dangerous place. If your elderly loved one is unfamiliar with navigating the web, they can accidentally click on malicious pop-ups that trigger the downloading of malware and risk losing all of their information on the computer to scammers.
Emails are another way scammers use to cheat you into giving them information. Don’t trust emails that say you’ve won a prize or ask you to verify your bank account. These are traps set up by scammers to phish your information.
Received a phone call from a number you don’t recognize? You picked it up and the person on the other line wants your bank details so he can send you some money. This sounds too good to be true. Here are some types of telemarketing scams to beware of:
- Foreign lottery ticket: The caller claims you’ve won a foreign lottery and asks for your banking details so the winnings can be credited.
- Fake accident: The scammer tricks you into believing your family member is in the hospital and needs you to send money urgently.
- Fake charities: Scammers impersonate charitable organizations asking for donations.
This is one of the most common scams. Scammers inform you that you’ve won the lottery and need to pay an administration fee to receive the prize. Once the scammers receive the ‘administrative fee’, they stop contacting you and disappear. When you realize you’ve been cheated, it’s too late and there’s no way of getting back the money.
Counterfeit Drug Scams
This scam targets elderly who use the internet to look for cheaper prescription drugs. In some scenarios, the scammers take the money but don’t deliver anything. The danger increases when they deliver counterfeit drugs containing harmful substances that can pose fatal health risks. You should always make sure your elderly loved one makes purchases of medication through proper channels.
Pretending to be your grandchild, the swindler claims to be in financial trouble and requests you to send money. If the scammers know your grandchild’s name, they may convince you he or she is in the hospital and need you to wire money immediately. When you receive calls like this, give your grandchild a call or check with other family members if this is true.