Criminals tend to choose the easiest targets and awareness is the first step to prevention. Here are the top 10 most common financial scams to watch for!
1. IRS Impersonation – Scammers claim an individual owes back taxes and penalties and threatens arrest or home foreclosure unless the person pays immediately.
2. Robocalls and unsolicited phone calls – Americans inundated with robocalls, and technology allow scammers to make it seem that their call originates in the consumer’s state or local area code.
3. Sweepstakes scams – Criminals contact victims and tell them they have won the lottery and need to pay a fee to collect their winnings.
4. Computer Tech support scams – Fraudsters pretend they work for a well-known tech company like Microsoft or Dell. They claim the individual’s computer has been infected with a virus and try to get remote access to their computer.
5. Elder Financial Abuse – Perpetrators of elder financial abuse include family members, caregivers or financial advisors, as well as strangers, who use the mail, phone calls or the internet to conduct scams.
6. Grandparent’s scams – Criminals pretend to be the victim’s grandchild and claim they need money to get themselves out of an emergency. Or they may claim to have kidnapped the senior’s grandchild and ask for ransom.
7. Romance Scams – Once a fraudster has struck up a relationship via online dating sites, they ask for money, perhaps under the guise of paying for a trip to visit the senior or to cover medical costs.
8. Social Security Impersonation – Scammers either phone or email consumers claiming to represent the Social Security Administration and ask consumers for personal information, such as their SSN, date of birth or bank account information.
9. Impending Lawsuit Scams – A consumer gets a call from someone claiming to work for a local, state, or federal law enforcement agency, and is told there is a warrant out for their arrest and they will be arrested unless they pay a fine.
10. Identity theft – Identity thieves make unauthorized credit card purchases, steal money from bank accounts, or apply for Social Security benefits or get healthcare covered by Medicare.
Source: Senate Committee on Aging