How to help seniors deal with frequent scam calls and fraudster attacks

Experts suggest working with seniors in your life on ways to respond to stay safe
How to help seniors deal with frequent scam calls and fraudster attacks
Posted at 5:00 AM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 07:00:16-04

Scam and fraud attacks are being reported at an all-time high and while just about any of us can fall for these schemes our seniors continue to be a primary target.

News5 takes a deep dive into the specific types of scams circulating right now, and the conversations you may want to have with your loved ones so they don't become a victim.

A recent study conducted by AARP found one in five caregivers has a loved one who lost money in a scam and statistics show these crooks are able to squeeze more money out of older victims at a time when they can't afford to lose their savings. It’s why we need to talk with the seniors in our lives about these threats.

“This call is from the Department of Social Security Administration. We found some suspicious activity so if you want to know about it please just press 1, thank you,” said one recording that played through the phone.

Misleading calls like this happen everyday. According to aarp, behind the phone are people pretending to be affiliated with government agencies. They pressure victims to act quickly and trick them into keeping the scheme a secret. Most people know to ignore it, but data shows plenty of our seniors still fall for it.

“We found that 1 in 5 family caregivers has had a loved one who has experienced a scam and in fact, more than half have lost a thousand dollars or more,” said AARP family and caregiving expert Amy Goyer.

She says the top scams currently involve government impostors, callers demanding utility payments, or someone claiming to be a grandchild in need of urgent help.

With scammers attacking from so many different angles, taking the time to talk through some of these scenarios could save some major cash and heartache.

“Practice with your loved ones, role play. If you get a call about this, what're you going to say? And you can write a refusal script for them,” said Goyer. “Put it by the phone. If you get a phone call, what you can always say is I don't do business over the phone, if you're interested in doing business with me, send it to me through the mail.”

Goyer also recommends saving all important contacts to your loved one's phone.

“If they don't recognize the name on it, and you put their doctors, everybody in their phone, then tell them don't answer it, let it go to voicemail and then you can listen to it later and I can help you decide if something is legitimate,” Goyer said.

And if they just need a line to get off the phone with someone they’re unsure about, tell the person this…

“Say to them on the phone I need to discuss all my business with my lawyer, they're probably not going to call you back,” said Goyer.

Remember, gift cards are for gifts not for payments. Scammers love this form of payment because they can drain the funds and it is almost impossible to recover the money.

Please report and share your experiences so we can spread the word and help all of our neighbors stay safe, especially our seniors.

Report scams to Colorado Attorney General

Report scams to FTC

Report consumer issues to the BBB Scam Tracker


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