Billions of Scam Texts Are Sent Every Year—Stay Safe with These Three Tips

scam texts

It happens all too often—an unknown number pops up in your text messages, asking for personal information or offering a free gift that is too good to be true. The sender might even seem like an innocuous wrong number asking about the weather. Unfortunately, these are signs of a scam.

How Scam Texts Work

According to CBS News, one of the most insidious ways that scammers use text messages is through copycat bank fraud. Typically, this will start with a seemingly innocent text asking about a potentially fraudulent charge. The text will ask the recipient to answer “yes” or “no” to confirm or deny the charge. By responding, the recipient has unknowingly confirmed that their number is activated and that they are a real person—the perfect target for the scammer.

Other forms of scam texts include phony delivery scams, bogus gift scams, and fake offers for free or discounted services. In each case, an unsuspecting victim can easily end up giving away personal information, such as passwords, bank account numbers, or Social Security numbers.

Stay Safe with These Tips

Our top three tips for staying safe from scam texts include:

  1. Never answer a text from an unknown number — If you don’t recognize the sender or aren’t expecting a text from someone whose number you don’t have saved, do not respond to the message in any way. Just delete the text and go about your day.
  2. Verify all bank charges before responding — If you receive a text asking about a bank charge, do not respond with yes or no. Instead, contact your bank directly to confirm if the charge is legitimate.
  3. Never give out personal information over text — When scammers ask for any kind of financial or personal information, such as passwords or Social Security numbers, do not provide it. Legitimate businesses and institutions will never ask for this kind of information over text message.

The Seniors Center

The Seniors Center is here to help you stay safe. Stay up-to-date with the latest scam alerts and information by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

AI Scams: How Artificial Intelligence Could Be Used to Target Seniors

AI scams

AI is becoming increasingly accessible and sophisticated, giving scam artists opportunities to target seniors in new ways. AI algorithms can be used to generate realistic-looking calls, emails, and texts that can fool even the most tech-savvy seniors.

AI and Scams

A recent 60 Minutes segment detailed just how online scams might use AI to target seniors. In the piece, they detailed how scam artists could use AI-generated voices to call seniors and sound like a real person. The scammer would use this technology to build rapport with the person they are calling and make them more likely to fall prey to their demands.

Of course, AI is just a tool, and it can also be used to help prevent scams—for example, it could be used to monitor spending so that loved ones can see if their parents or grandparents have sent money to scammers. AI can also be used to detect suspicious emails or phone numbers that could indicate a scam is underway.

Becoming more familiar with what AI can do and how it can be used for scammers is an important step in helping protect seniors from scams. If you know what to look out for, you can stay safe.

The Seniors Center

The Seniors Center is here to help retirees learn about the latest ways that scam artists are targeting seniors, from AI-generated calls to phishing emails. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay updated, aware, and ready to protect yourself from scams.

What You Need to Know About Crypto Scams

crypto scams

Cryptocurrency has taken the world by storm. This digital currency is not only popular, but it is also highly volatile and subject to fraud. Seniors are particularly vulnerable when it comes to crypto scams, as they may not be as tech-savvy or financially literate as younger generations. It is important for seniors to understand the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrency, as well as the signs that they may have fallen victim to a crypto scam.

What Is Cryptocurrency?

According to the FTC, cryptocurrencies are digital assets that can be used to store and transfer value. They are not backed by any government or central banks, which makes them attractive to investors looking for an alternative investment option. However, this lack of government oversight also makes them vulnerable to fraud and other risks.

How Crypto Scams Work

Crypto scams come in many forms, and they often target seniors. Signs of scams can include:

  • Someone is demanding payment in crypto for goods or services.
  • Someone is promising a guaranteed return on your crypto investment.
  • You are asked to provide personal information that could be used to steal your identity
  • Someone is pressuring you to invest quickly in a “limited time” offer.

If you encounter any of these signs, it is important to be aware that you may have encountered a crypto scam.

The Seniors Center Blog is here to help you stay informed about potential scams. If you haven’t yet, be sure to follow The Seniors Center on Twitter and Facebook so you never miss a post!

Don’t Let Scams Ruin Your Holidays—Take This Quiz to Test Your Knowledge

holiday scams

Did you know that scams can spike during the holidays?

During the holiday season, when people are feeling generous and looking for ways to help others, scammers can take advantage of this kind of generosity. As many as three-quarters of Americans have been targeted by a scam that’s connected to the holidays at some point.

These scams can include online fraud, fake charities, and even identity theft. It’s important to stay vigilant and protect yourself from these kinds of predatory activities.

How to Spot Holiday Scams

Unknown numbers, gift cards that have been tampered with, and shady charities are some of the biggest red flags associated with holiday scams. However, knowing what to look out for can be difficult, especially with the prevalence of online scams.

AARP has put together a helpful online quiz that will test your knowledge of holiday scams. The quiz covers topics like phishing, check fraud, and other factors that can help you identify potential disasters before they have a chance to affect you.

For example, can you always trust ads for items you see on social media? Will retailers like Amazon ever ask for your login info over the phone? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you stay safe from scams during the holidays.

The Seniors Center Blog Can Help You Stay Safe for the Holidays

We hope you enjoy this holiday season—and stay vigilant against scams! At The Seniors Center, you’ll find helpful advice on how to stay safe. From avoiding impostor fraud to recognizing questionable charities, our blog has all the info you need to stay safe during the holidays.

Learn more by following us on Twitter and Facebook today!

Hear a Nashville Senior’s Story About Scam Artists


When you reach out to a financial advisor, you expect to be taken care of. But one Nashville senior was scammed out of thousands by someone she thought she could trust.

How This Senior Scam Worked

This woman’s senior scam story begins with a man handing out AARP information. According to, this man told a Nashville woman, Paula Gilmore, that he could help her with her finances and manage her money.

She believed him—he seemed credible. However, over the next 10 years, she handed him close to $230,000. But instead of investing it, he was pocketing it for himself.

According to Gilmore’s daughter, the man would open up her mail and even write checks from her own account to pass off as dividends. In reality, he was just cashing them and taking the money for himself.

Eventually, the FBI caught up to the scam artist. However, the damage was done.

Staying Safe from Fraud and Scams

Consult others before making any decisions about your finances, especially if someone you don’t know approaches you.

At The Seniors Center, we understand how important your financial security is. We’re working to help seniors stay aware of the latest scams so they can protect themselves. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook so you never miss a post!