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Safeguarding Seniors: How to Avoid Scammers

In recent years, scammers have increasingly targeted seniors, preying on their trust and vulnerability to perpetrate fraudulent schemes. According to a report by the FBI, Baby Boomers alone were scammed out of more than $3.4 billion in 2023, with losses from reported scams surging by 11% from the previous year. With imposter scams on the rise, it's essential for seniors to be vigilant and informed to protect themselves from falling victim to these schemes.

Imposter scams often involve criminals impersonating trusted figures, such as relationship managers or financial advisors, and setting up fraudulent websites to deceive victims. To avoid falling victim to these scams, it's crucial to recognize the warning signs, including:

  • Unexpected phone calls or emails requesting personal information or payments.

  • Phone calls stating you have missed Jury Duty and have to pay a fine or you will be arrested.

  • Urgent requests to fill out forms or provide sensitive information.

  • Poor website design quality, grammatical errors, or misspellings on fraudulent websites.

  • Website domains that use the name of the relationship manager rather than a reputable firm.

To protect themselves from imposter scams follow these best practices:

  • Verify all anomalous communications or requests for payments by double-checking the sender information and independently confirming the source using verified contact information.

  • Do not open emails that do not look normal - it could be a phishing email which could put a virus on your computer.

  • Never rely solely on caller ID to determine the legitimacy of a caller. Let an unknown caller go to voicemail.

  • Refrain from sending payments or sensitive information without independently verifying the identity of the recipient.

  • Avoid giving out sensitive information, such as account numbers, over the phone or through a website unless certain of the recipient's identity.

  • Cut off contact with anyone suspected of impersonating a professional and report the incident to authorities.

  • Never give cash to a vendor, Zelle payments or meet them in a common area.

Additionally, you can decrease any chances of falling victim to imposter scams by proactively establishing mutually understood defense measures with professional contacts.

By remaining vigilant and informed, seniors can protect themselves from falling victim to imposter scams and safeguard their financial well-being. Education and awareness are key to empowering seniors to recognize and avoid fraudulent schemes targeting them.

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