Financial scams are nothing new, and people have been falling for them ever since money was around. The significant differences between old financial scams and the new brand of financial scams are their scope and the way they're performed. While in past decades scam artists spoke to their victims face to face, now they do it over the phone or online. With numerous identity thefts taking place every year and financial scams being more prevalent than ever, it's important to be on the lookout, especially if you or your family members are seniors. Because senior citizens aren't as tech savvy as the younger generations, they are prime candidates for financial scams, especially these four kinds:
1. Health insurance/Medicare scams
If someone is a permanent resident of the US or an American citizen over the age of 65, they qualify for Medicare, which makes them an easy target for financial scammers. Medicare scammers usually call up senior citizens to offer them Medicare and get their hands on the financial information of the victim. Also, Medicare and Health insurance scammers make up different services and even the existence of mobile clinics to steal information from the elderly and take their money.
2. IRS scams
This type of fraud is the most common kind among senior citizens, and through it, victims are asked to pay back taxes and threatened with jail time and fines if they don't pay. Some scammers even go as far as getting basic information about the victims so they will sound more convincing. In any case, such calls are scams because the IRS notifies people about important matters through the US post and not the phone.
3. Email scams
Senior citizens fall victim to email phishing scams asking them for financial help from a relative. In these types of scams, the con artists will write an email that sounds true because it contains bits and pieces of events that could happen. One of the most popular types of such emails is a nephew asking for financial assistance because they are stranded somewhere and need money. In such situations, it is essential to run a reverse email lookup to see who is behind the email and check if any information provided in the mail is real.
4. The widow scam
This is one of the most heartless scams that target people in grief and cons them out of money. People that prey on the grieving simply looks up for people who have recently died on the obituary section and pretend to be bankers or lawyers. In their scam, the con artists claim that the deceased owed them money, and the grieving victim, who is in emotional turmoil and can't think straights, usually gives them the money. If such a person appears and asks money from you or your relatives, conduct a people search to check if they are who they say they are, and seek help from relatives. Ask for proof that debt does exist, or try and go to the bank or law firm to see what's going on before handing out money.
Whenever someone asks you for money out of the blue, it's important to be suspicious and not take anything they say as the truth. Check for any information a potential con artist asks you and seek help to find out if you are being scammed. It will save you money, time and most importantly – prevent heartache.