Lisa Conway – Hometown News
Q: How can seniors protect themselves from scam artists?
A: Unwary seniors make excellent targets for con artists. Seniors often live alone, have great credit and are not cyber savvy.
I received a frantic call early the other morning from one of my clients who realized her mistake in giving out her credit card number over the phone.
She is 84 and suffers from mild dementia. A trusting lady, she was overwhelmed by the caller. Fortunately, we contacted her bank right away and stopped payment.
According to the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging:
- Con artists force you to make decisions fast and may be threatening.
- Con artists disguise their real numbers, using fake caller IDs.
- Con artists sometimes pretend to be a government agency.
- Con artists try to get personal information like your Social Security number or account numbers.
Here are the top five scams seen in Florida in 2020:
- Social Security Impersonation Scam- Consumers receive calls from individuals claiming to represent the Social Security Administration.
- Romance Scam- The romance scammer typically contacts the victim through social media or email. After spending time on the “relationship,” they ask for money.
- Sweepstakes Scam- Fraudsters usually contact the victims by phone or mail to tell them about a great prize they’ve won — but require the victim to pay a fee to collect their winnings.
- Consumer-related- This broad category includes automated “robo-calls” that request information like social security or account numbers.
- Grandparent Scam- Imposters pretend to be the victim’s grandchild or a police officer –then claim the grandchild needs money to help with a made up emergency.
The Committee on Aging suggests asking a friend or family member before giving out your credit card or money –and to beware of offers for free travel or other items!
Want more tips? Call One Senior Place at 321-751-6771 or stop by and browse the resource library, filled with free brochures, guides and information of interest to seniors.
One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Send questions to askOSP@OneSeniorPlace.com or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging at OneSeniorPlace.com. Lisa Conway is a Registered Nurse and a Certified Care Manager for Senior Partner Care Services, Viera.