Many seniors are aware of the most common forms of fraud targeting older adults, like romance scams and grandparent scams. However, scam artists are always coming up with new ways to attempt to steal money from hardworking Americans. Gift card scams, in which scam artists use tech support to weasel their way into seniors’ lives, have conned some individuals out of all they have.
One Woman’s Gift Card Scams Story
AARP has reported extensively on different forms of fraud targeting seniors, including gift card scams. One woman interviewed, a former teacher, spent $45,000 on gift cards over the course of three days. She was targeted by two individuals: one posing as an American Express employee, the other pretending to be a Microsoft tech support agent.
These individuals claimed that they could see illicit purchases made by the woman online and that there was a warrant out for her arrest. For them to help her, she would need to purchase them gift cards to the tune of five figures.
It was only once the ordeal was over that the former teacher realized she had been the victim of a scam. Now, working with the police, the FBI, and her credit card company, she’s making an effort to get back what she’s lost.
How can you avoid falling victim to this scam? First, know that no legitimate company or government agency will ask you to pay them in gift cards.
Additionally, pop-ups on your computer purporting to be from Microsoft can be a form of fraud. When in doubt, reach out to your credit card company or tech support agency directly rather than calling the number the pop-up provides.
The Seniors Center Blog is here to keep seniors informed about the forms of fraud targeting older Americans. We invite you to learn more about The Seniors Center today. Then, keep up with The Seniors Center on Twitter and Facebook so you never miss a post.