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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Scams Impacting Our Seniors

There certainly seems like there’s been an upward surge in scams – onIine, on the phone or by mail – over the last several months. And while anyone can be the target of these scams, as is usually the case, the most heavily targeted population group is our seniors.

One of the best watchdogs when it comes to shedding a light on these scams is AARP. The organization recently sent out a warning about two new two phishing schemes. While these scams are new in a sense, they are really based on others we have seen in the past.

The first one that is very tempting to our older population is a shopping scam offering deals that are just too good to be true. In all likelihood, if they are too good to be true, they are probably a scam. This scam is especially dangerous for older people who spend time online.

 Scammers offer online ads for products or services at great prices. These ads can appear like legitimate sponsored posts on Facebook – even in a friend’s Facebook timeline. That makes it seem even more genuine. The goal of these bogus ads is to obtain your credit card information.  Report these ads to Facebook if you see them and to your credit card company if you have acted on them. You also may want to change your Facebook password.

The second scam focuses on genealogy. There are some reputable companies out there offering ways for you to learn about your family history. The problem is there are just as many bogus companies claiming to do the same thing. Scammers have created pages that look exactly like the web pages for the legitimate companies. The purpose is the same – getting your credit card information.

Research any of these companies – even the ones that seem legitimate – before signing up.

If you are a senior, and you are on the internet – a good rule of thumb is to let someone you know and trust look at any online offers you may be interested in. The same is true of anything you get in the mail.

You can learn more about these particular scams and AARP’s fraud watch efforts here.


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