Scams to watch out for:
Watch out for phishing scams! Scammers send deceptive text messages and emails, pretending to be reputable companies or government agencies. They trick people into giving away personal information or clicking on harmful links. Be cautious and avoid responding to unsolicited messages, especially ones asking for sensitive details. Stay vigilant and protect yourself from identity theft!
With the Grandparent Scam or Person-in-Need Scam, someone will pretend to be a family member or someone acting on their behalf, claiming there's an urgent situation. They often say the relative has been arrested or injured in another country and needs money immediately. The scammers insist on payment through cash, wire transfer, or prepaid gift cards. They might even warn victims not to share the news with anyone, citing a supposed "gag order" on the case. These schemes are operated from abroad, and they often use intermediaries in the U.S. to collect payments and send the money to the scammers. Stay cautious and protect yourself from these deceptive tactics!
Tech Support Fraud
Scammers will use phone calls or pop-up messages to pose as computer technicians from well-known companies. They claim your computer or account has a problem, like viruses or hacking attempts, and offer "tech support." They ask for remote access to your computer and diagnose fake issues, demanding large payments for unnecessary services. These scams often involve international fraudsters using U.S.-based intermediaries to receive payments. Also, watch out for refund schemes where scammers promise to refund your money but then trick you into sending more money instead. Protect yourself from these fraudulent schemes and don't fall for their tricks!
Beware of lottery fraud! Scammers from different countries call countless Americans every day, pretending they've won a sweepstakes or lottery. They pose as lawyers, customs officials, or lottery representatives and claim the victims have won vacations, cars, or large sums of money. However, they deceive victims into paying fees for shipping, insurance, customs duties, or taxes to claim their prizes. Victims lose hundreds or thousands of dollars and never receive anything in return. These frauds often involve using intermediaries in the U.S. to collect payments and send money to the scammers. Stay alert and protect yourself from these deceptive schemes!
Government Imposter Fraud
Scammers pretend to be from agencies like Social Security or the IRS, targeting seniors. They call and claim your Social Security number is suspended or you owe money. They trick you into giving personal information or transferring money onto gift cards. Remember, government agencies won't ask for payments through unconventional methods. Stay cautious and protect yourself from these deceptive schemes!
Romance scams cause significant financial losses to older Americans. While many people find love online, scammers also exploit dating websites and social platforms to target victims. They create fake profiles and build relationships, deceiving victims into sending money for emergencies or special opportunities. These scams often involve international perpetrators using intermediaries in the U.S. to collect payments. Sometimes, victims unknowingly become money mules, helping scammers transmit illegal funds. Stay cautious and protect yourself from these fraudulent schemes!
National Elder Fraud Hotline
10AM - 6PM Eastern Time
Monday - Friday
Source: Transnational elder fraud strike force. Civil Division. (2023, March 9). https://www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch/transnational-elder-fraud-strike-force