Fraudulent schemes and scams have always existed but there increase and focus on the elderly is troubling. The National Council on Aging estimates that nearly 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 60 experiences some form of financial elder abuse.
IRS Scams –
Callers claiming to be IRS agents often call unsuspecting seniors at home, accusing them of owing back taxes and having to pay immediately. The IRS impersonators threaten to foreclose on homes, garnish social security, and even threaten arrest unless payment is made immediately by phone.
The truth is that the IRS never makes outing calls to anyone, all correspondence is done via USPS or the IRS secured internet site. In addition, the IRS will never ask for payment information over the phone nor demand immediate payment.
Technology & Internet Fraud –
Phone calls from individuals claiming to be from a major technology company target seniors. Callers ask for remote access to computers in order to gather sensitive data and financial details.
Pop-up ads claiming to fix pop-up ads many times are fraudulent advertisements used to gather credit card numbers and personal details.
Sweepstakes Scam –
Unreasonable or ridiculous calls regarding a prize or major sweepstakes winnings.
Other Scams –
Fake charities and relatives needing money. Be sure to review bank and credit card statements carefully for fraudulent or suspicious activity. If fraud is suspected, it is suggested to contact credit bureaus and relatives.
We hope that our clients always feel comfortable reaching out to us to verify the validity of any calls or mailings they may receive.
Kent G. Forsey, CFP®
Sources: National Council On Aging, IRS.gov, OneBlueWindow, LLC.