confused man on the phoneUnfortunately, there seems to be a new fraudulent scheme around every corner. From phishing emails looking for personal or banking information to fake sweepstakes scams, identity theft has become a serious concern over the years.

Seniors are a popular target for several reasons: Many older people have money saved, are not tech savvy and may suffer from memory loss. Older generations should be aware of the following scams to help protect their information from fraudsters.

False Representation

Seniors who are home all day often receive calls from someone pretending to represent a bank, credit card company or software business. These fake representatives may tell the person they are performing a critical system update and need to confirm confidential data like Social Security number, date of birth, passwords and security question answers.

Yet once this personal information is obtained, they have easy access to your finances. Keep in mind, your financial institution will never ask for personal information over the phone.

Medicare Scams

Many people are overwhelmed by the health insurance process and trust the professionals to help take care of everything. However, scammers have found this to be a wide open gate to gain the information needed to bill Medicare for fraudulent services.

A fraudster may call a senior citizen, pretending to be a Medicare representative and coerce the person into providing personal details, including his or her Medicare ID.

When these types of calls are received, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends simply hanging up the phone if someone asks for your Social Security or bank account number to get a new card or new health benefits.

Natural Disasters

When an earthquake, hurricane or tornado takes place, people in the affected area may receive calls from people about insurance claims or tax refunds from the IRS.

If an insurance representative calls, ask what company he or she is with. If it’s not your homeowner’s provider, do not continue the conversation. Also, understand the IRS will never call and demand immediate payment or ask for a credit card number by phone.
Avon Health Center is a local resource for seniors and families looking for more information on staying safe and healthy with age. To learn more about our services, contact us today!