FBI senior scams

VIDEO: The FBI Warns Seniors About Common Scams

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Many scam artists target elderly Americans. They can be attractive targets because many seniors have retirement savings or own their own homes, resources that are valuable to scammers. The FBI works to take down scam artists, but relies on tips and insight from everyday American seniors to find out what common scams are causing problems.

This video from the FBI details how a former director of the agency was targeted by a scam and how he and his wife were able to take down the scam artist. Their article also gives seniors insight into how they can spot and report fraud.

Common Scams Targeting Seniors

According to the FBI, of the most common senior scams include:

  • Lottery scams – Be wary of anyone contacting you claiming that you have won money
  • Caregiver or guardianship scams – These insidious forms of fraud take advantage of seniors when they are most vulnerable
  • Tech support scams – Giving out passwords or access to devices can allow scam artists to steal personal information or money

If you suspect that you’re being targeted by a scam artist, you can use the FBI Tip Form to report your findings. Giving as much detail as possible can help the agency track down bad actors.

The Seniors Center is committed to keeping seniors safe online. Learn more about our mission today—and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more updates!

Social Security Resources to Protect Your Private Information

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For seniors, keeping private information safe is of the utmost importance. However, staying safe online can be challenging. Luckily, seniors can take advantage of a number of resources from the Social Security Administration to protect their information.

According to the official Social Security blog, several resources are available specifically so that seniors can protect themselves online. These include:

  • A my Social Security account – Open an online account to check for suspicious activity
  • The “Guard Your Card” infographic – Learn when you might need to show your Social Security card and when to keep it private
  • The Social Security Administration’s Privacy page – Discover how the SSA works to keep your identity safe

You can learn more about these and other resources on the Social Security Administration’s website. Share what you learn with your loved ones as well, as this information can help everyone whether they’re a Social Security recipient or now.

We’re working hard to ensure that seniors can stay safe from scams, fraud, and identity theft. Stay updated with The Seniors Center Blog’s latest updates by following The Seniors Center on Twitter and Facebook!

Stress and Scams Go Hand-in-Hand, Finds New Study

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Being on the receiving end of a scam call or email is frustrating at any time. However, if you’re stressed, it’s possible that you could be more susceptible to frauds. Stress and scams, according to a report by AARP, are closely linked.

Staying aware of current scams can help you avoid giving out personal information. Learn more from The Seniors Center Blog today!

The Connection Between Stress and Scams

There are a number of risk factors that can make an individual more likely to fall victim to a scam. These can involve what time of day they’re targeted, their age, and even recent life events.

Those who have recently been through a traumatic and stressful event such as a divorce, illness, or job loss are more likely to give out information or even money to a scammer. Why? Because scam artists use these events to their advantage.

Scam artists learn everything they can about their marks and use this to keep victims distracted. Those who have been through stressful events might also not have a strong network of support to fall back on. This is a cocktail for disaster.

Stay Safe from Scams

Learning about these risk factors can help you stay safe from scams. In times of stress, don’t let your guard down. Investigate suspicious calls and reach out to loved ones for help if needed.

The Seniors Center Blog is here to help seniors avoid scams and frauds. Make sure to follow The Seniors Center on Twitter and Facebook so you never miss an update!

Government Imposter Scams Targeting Seniors

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You might know to stay clear of calls from unknown numbers, as these can be scams targeting you for money or information. The ubiquitous calls asking about your car’s extended warranty, for example, are easy to hang up on. But what about when you receive a call from an unknown number and the person on the other end of the line is from Medicare? Or the IRS? Would you be so quick to hang up? Scammers prey on this hesitation in order to steal from vulnerable seniors. Learn more about how to spot government imposter scams so that you can stay safe.

What Are Government Imposter Scams?

Government imposter scams typically involve phone calls. The person on the other end of the line will immediately jump into either threats, demands, or even offerings of money to get you to give up information or money. According to AARP, some of the most common government imposter scams include:

  • Posing as a Medicare employee
  • Pretending to be from the Social Security Administration
  • Acting as a student loan officer
  • Pretending to give out a grant
  • Posing as the FBI

How to Stay Safe

The government will not call with demands—instead, government agencies will typically communicate through the mail. If you’re concerned about a phone call or other communication, hang up and call the agency yourself or look into what the scammer is saying online. It’s likely that other individuals have reported similar calls.

The Seniors Center wants retirees to stay safe from scams. Keep up with our blog on scams, fraud, and abuse to help ensure that you’re not caught off guard. And follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more updates!