Criminals commonly use the names of well-known and reputable computer companies, online retailers, money transfer services and virus protection software companies to try and defraud others. These computer-related scams often claim to be with companies like Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Norton, McAfee, PayPal and eBay, just to name a few. It is important to remember that computer scams can occur on any device that can access the internet including a smartphone and tablet. The following are some red flags to look out for to help identify some of the most reported computer-related scams:
When temperatures are very high or very low, scammers take advantage of the heating and cooling needs of consumers. Utility scammers commonly pose as someone who works for your gas, water or electric company. These scams can be very tricky because they often know your name, address and the correct name of your utility provider. Their goal is often to work quickly to convince you they hold important resources like your heat, A/C, power and water in their hands.
People of all ages use text messages to communicate, often even more so than talking on the phone or sending an email. Scammers have noted this trend and now use text messaging to contact potential victims. As the use of smart phones and text messaging grows, it is critical that cell phone users are extra vigilant about potential scams that could come to their phone via text. The following are a few tips for avoiding potential text message scams:
Each year on June 15 we observe World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This is not a holiday to celebrate, but one to recognize that elder abuse is a serious problem in America and throughout the world, and if more people can recognize indicators of elder abuse, we can help to stop it!
Spring and summer months are often an ideal time to engage in projects around the house. The ElderWatch helpline receives many complaints about projects having to do with home repairs, remodel jobs and yard work. The following are some tips for hiring a contractor, handyperson or help with your yard:
Dating and social media websites have become one of the most popular ways for people of all ages to connect with new friends and potential love interests. While many people have good intentions when meeting people online, scammers also commonly use these sites and apps (ex. Facebook, Instagram, Words with Friends, etc.) to obtain money, gifts or personal information.
At the start of a new year we often reflect on the previous year and make goals for the coming year. Why not make one of your goals for 2023 to “Recognize, Refuse and Report” scams?! While scams can take various forms, there are often “red flags” that are common to many scams. Recognizing red flags will help you avoid most scams. The following are some common red flags that may help you identify if a scammer is trying to steal your money or personal information:
It is the season of giving and while the majority of charitable requests are legitimate, it is important to remember there are some scammers out there who try and take advantage of the good will of others. A 2022 AARP survey found that 39% of U.S. adults say they had received a charity request that seemed fraudulent. The following are a few tips to help make sure that your donation is benefitting the intended cause:
The holiday season creates new ways for scammers to victimize consumers. Especially with many consumers turning to online shopping it is even more important to remain vigilant. Here are a few steps you can take to help make this holiday shopping season safe: