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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Scams Continue to Impact Seniors

One of the most significant problems for our senior population is the ongoing effort by scammers to steal their savings. And, it always seems that as soon as the public becomes aware of the latest schemes to defraud seniors, a new one is developed.

The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging recently issued a report of the latest top 10 scams targeting our seniors.

Almost always this list starts out with IRS impersonation scams. It usually starts with a call from someone claiming to be an IRS agent, usually from a 202 (Washington D.C. area code). But because most people are now aware that the IRS never initiates contact by phone, the scammers say they are following up on a previously sent letter.

Sweepstakes scams are always popular. If you get a call that you have won a prize but must first pay a fee, it is a scam.

Despite the Do Not Call Registry, robocalls continue to be a problem and are now as common on cell phones as they are on land lines.

Another scam that has increasing success is the call from someone claiming to represent a high-profile tech company like Microsoft or Apple suggesting your computer has a virus. They then ask for remote control to fix the issue.

One becoming more common is the grant scam where a caller says they are from some official-sounding agency and they are offering grants to cover expenses but you have to pay a fee to access it.

Romance scams are also increasingly popular. The scammer creates an online romance and eventually asks for money to come and meet you or for an emergency.

As always, some others we have written about here before remain on the list, including, identity theft, the grandparent scam, elder financial abuse and home improvement scams.

There’s no perfect solution to stop these scams but the best advice is to be skeptical and do not give out any information to someone you don’t know.



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