As technology continues to advance, so do the methods employed by scammers to target vulnerable individuals. Unfortunately, seniors have become a common target due to their potential lack of familiarity with the digital landscape. However, with the right information and proactive measures, seniors can arm themselves against scams. This doesn’t just protect your hard-earned money—many victims experience depression, anxiety, and even PTSD following a scam. They steal much more than the funds in your bank account, they steal your peace of mind.
- Stay Informed: Knowledge is your best defense against scams. Seniors should take the time to learn about various types of scams, such as phishing emails, fraudulent phone calls, investment scams, and more. Stay updated with the latest scam trends through reputable sources like government websites, consumer protection agencies, and community organizations.
- Be Skeptical of Unsolicited Communication: Scammers often reach out through unsolicited phone calls, emails, or even doorstep visits. Be cautious of offers that seem too good to be true. Never give out personal information like social security numbers, bank details, or passwords over the phone or online unless you are certain of the legitimacy of the request. One trick scammers like to use is to pose as someone that they know their target respects or idolizes, using this false identity to make them feel special and build up a friendship before beginning to ask them for money for various reasons.
- Verify Requests: Before taking any action based on a request for money or personal information, verify the legitimacy of the request. Call the official number of the organization directly (do not use the contact details provided in the suspicious communication) and confirm if the request is genuine. If the request cannot be verified or there is no legitimate organization tied to the request, do not send any money.
- Use Strong Passwords: If you’re using online services or platforms, ensure you have strong, unique passwords for each account. This reduces the risk of your accounts being hacked. Consider using a password manager to help you keep track of your passwords securely.
- Secure Your Devices: Make sure your computer, smartphone, and other devices are protected with up-to-date antivirus software and security patches. Regularly update your operating system to stay protected against known vulnerabilities.
- Keep Personal Information Private: Avoid sharing personal information, especially on social media platforms. Scammers can use seemingly innocuous details to build a profile and execute targeted attacks. This includes your name, address, phone number, or even which bank you use. Keep any information about yourself vague when speaking to people you do not know personally.
- Don’t Rush Decisions: Scammers often use high-pressure tactics to force quick decisions. Whether it’s an investment opportunity or a donation request, take your time to research and consider the offer before committing to anything.
- Be Cautious with Investments: Investment scams targeting seniors are unfortunately common. Always research and verify investment opportunities thoroughly. Consult with a trusted financial advisor before making any investment decisions.
- Hang Up on Suspicious Calls: If you receive a call from an unknown number that asks for personal information or offers you a deal that sounds too good to be true, hang up immediately. Legitimate organizations won’t pressure you over the phone. If you receive the call on your cell phone, report the number as a scammer and block the number. Seek assistance if you’re not sure how to take these steps.
- Seek Advice: If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of an offer or request, don’t hesitate to seek advice from a family member, friend, or even local law enforcement. Two heads are better than one when it comes to identifying potential scams.
- Report Scams: If you encounter a scam or believe you’ve been targeted, report it to the relevant authorities. This helps prevent others from falling victim to the same scam and assists law enforcement in taking action against scammers.
- Stay Socially Active: Isolation can make seniors more susceptible to scams. Maintain an active social life both online and offline. Join local clubs, attend community events, and stay connected with family and friends to reduce the risk of falling into a scammer’s trap out of loneliness.
Contact Aging Benefits Advisory Today!
If you need help navigating the world of senior health insurance, our advisors at Aging Benefits Advisory are here to assist. Take advantage of our free consultation to ensure that you receive the plan for your budget and needs. We specialize in Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements, Dental, Vision, and Final Expense insurance for the senior market of Pinellas County, Pasco County, Manatee County, Hillsborough County, Polk County, Sarasota County, Citrus County, and Marion County, Florida. If you would like a free consultation, contact us online or give us a call at 727-266-0355. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.