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A Quick Guide to Prevent Senior Citizen Scams

Scammers do not discriminate. They are constantly looking for victims and have no problem preying on senior citizens to con them out of their life savings. It’s important we do our part to educate these folks about commonly used scam techniques.

First things first, you can always call the Better Business Bureau’s Senior Fraud Hotline: 804-780-2222. The mission of the Better Business Bureau’s Senior Fraud Program is to assist in recognizing and resisting fraudulent offerings and possible scams.

I tried to keep it short and to the point to make it easy to share.

Let’s get started!

Rule #1 – If it is too good to be true, it probably is!

There are scammers that come to work everyday, sit in a cubicle and try to scam people! And they are very good at what they do. So if you think you stumbled across an amazing deal online, remember if it is too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t click on the link, signup, purchase, or share personal information. Instead, manually type the address of the official websites and try to avoid purchasing from brands you don’t know.

Rule #2 – What? Who is this?

No matter what, if you get an unexpected phone call never give any personal information. Hang up the phone and do some research, and call the official phone number to inquire.

Rule #3 – So, you are saying it is urgent…

There is no time-bomb ticking! If your bank is calling you, they won’t pressure you to do anything. The same goes for any government agency, tech support, lottery, or even your grandchild… Whatever it is, it can wait until you do some research and verify the authenticity of the request.

Rule # 4 – Heck yes, free gift cards

Gift cards cannot be used to pay court fines, taxes, or medicine. Government entities ”never“ call people and demand payment; they tend to send a certified letter for those purposes.

Now, let’s review a few common scams you should watch out for…

Warning! Your computer is infected.

If any antivirus popup shows up urging you to call Microsoft, it’s a scam! Don’t click on any link or call any number, just close the browser.

Billy, is that you?

If your grandchild or any other family member calls and asks you to wire money immediately because they are in trouble, it’s probably a scam. Especially if they ask you to not tell mom and dad. You can verify if it is actually them by asking a personal question, like what’s your aunt’s name.

Look out for your new Medicare card!

No official organization will call you and ask for your Medicare/Medicaid ID or any personal information. Scammers may pose as medical insurers and threaten to cancel your insurance if you don’t share information from the new card or request payment for the new Medicare.

The Miracle Cure!

Scammers may call and promise products for a long and fruitful life. This includes advanced cures, anti-cancer products, physical condition enhancements, etc., always consult with your physician and only purchase from official stores.

Congratulations! You are a winner!

The catch is, in order to receive your prize you will need to send money for taxes, shipping, or processing fees.

Knock knock! Who’s there?

Don’t do business with anyone that just shows up at your door, and never pay in advance – always wait until all the work is complete.

Lastly…

It’s important you talk to your parents… explain these type of scams are common, and if the call is unexpected then question it. Remind them that in this day and age, besides friends and family, the chances of someone calling with an urgent message is slim to none.

Thanks for reading!

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Gabriel Friedlander
Author: Gabriel Friedlander
Gabriel Friedlander was the co-founder of ObserveIT, an award-winning company specializing in the detection and prevention of insider threats. He is also the co-author of the book, “Insider Threat Program: Your 90-Day Plan”. Most recently, Gabriel started Wizer to make security awareness training free for everyone. And because the average human attention Span is 8 Seconds – 1 second less than a goldfish – he created training videos to be short and to the point!