Scammers and criminals don’t take a break during the holidays, in fact they might ramp up their efforts. A 2018 ElderWatch survey of Coloradans 50+ found a lack of knowledge about some holiday-related scams. Be vigilant this holiday season and take extra precautions to ensure your hard-earned money does not end up in the hands of scammers:
Recently, there has be an uptick in reports of scam calls claiming to be from the Social Security Administration. During these calls the scammer tells their potential victim that they will not be receiving their Social Security check because they have been “blacklisted” or they are in trouble with the authorities. We believe one of the reasons these calls have “bubbled up” might be because people are aware of the IRS scam and scammers are looking for a different way to scare their victim into sending money or sharing their personal information.
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram provide a convenient way to connect with friends and family. It is important to remember that scammers also use these platforms to find victims. Scammers often create fake profiles and pretend to either be someone you know, someone you want to know or an entity you trust. Because there are fake profiles it is difficult to know who you can trust. The following are some red flags that you might be targeted by a scammer on Facebook or other social media platform:
Jury duty scams are one of the most common and tricky variations of imposter scams out there. Typically these scams begin with a phone call where the scammer identifies themselves as an officer of the court or from the local sheriff’s department. The scammer then claims you failed to report for jury duty and that a warrant is out for your arrest.
This April, Medicare will begin to issue new Medicare cards to all beneficiaries. To help protect your identity, these new cards will no longer contain your Social Security number. Instead, Medicare will assign you a unique number that will be used for doctor visits and medical claims. As new cards start to get sent out, scammers might try to take advantage of this transition. The following is some information to help you from getting caught up in a Medicare card scam:
Online dating has become one of the most popular ways for people of all ages to meet friends, significant others and spouses. While most people have good intentions when using online dating websites, scammers also use the same sites to obtain money, gifts or personal information.
Nearly four in ten (39 percent) Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) age 50 and older report that they or their family members have experienced fraud schemes, according to the recent fraud survey from AARP. Additionally, one-third (33 percent) of victims lost $15,000 on average. Non-financial costs are even more widespread, with most fraud victims (72 percent) experiencing some sort of emotional, physical or mental health impact, including anger, stress and anxiety, difficulty sleeping and shame.
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