Senior Abuse: Top Senior Scams and How to Avoid Them
As unfortunate as it is, it is no secret that tons of financial scams exist that target the elderly population in an effort to rob them of their hard-earned money. Although awareness for these scams is now at an all-time high, thousands of people still fall prey to these scams everyday and often end
Social Security FraudThis scam involves one party reaching out to another, falsely claiming an affiliation with the Social Security Administration (SSA) looking to take advantage of the fact that many seniors will neither care nor know how to verify whether or not the scammer is actually calling on behalf of the SSA. Usually the scammers threaten their victims with false legal charges, large fines and even threats of incarceration if they do not follow instructions. With modern technology, scammers are also able to easily change their caller ID phone number to display that of the official SSA office, further increasing the chances that they gain full trust of their victims. If you are faced with a situation like this, know that the SSA will never contact you directly via phone. It is best to hang up the phone immediately, never provide any personal information, and report the call to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Medicare FraudAnother example of identity theft is when scammers call elders impersonating a Medicare representative. Many elders are tricked into giving scammers confidential information in order to update their medical records or to obtain a Medicare care. They may also claim that there is an overdue payment that the elders need to make and threaten the victim with hefty fines if they refuse to pay. As is the case with many federal programs, neither Medicare, Medicaid, the IRS, nor the SSA will call you to request personal information.