Adapted from ElderCounsel
There are many good people in the world. Some strangers would give you the shirt off their backs. Many folks volunteer their time to help others in need. Especially in our tumultuous times, it is important to be kind and generous to our neighbors. However, there are scammers who prey on various populations, usually ones who are vulnerable. That includes seniors.
What are some senior scams to be aware of?
The ne’er-do well must somehow get in contact with you in order to scam you. This includes the telephone, internet, and in-person.
1. Watch out for fake Facebook friends.
The scammer makes a fake Facebook profile that looks like it belongs to a friend of yours. The “friend” sends a message to you stating that the “friend” received a government grant of some sort. Of course, to receive the government grant, you must make an initial investment or pay an application fee.
- Don’t believe every Facebook profile is real, even ones that look like they belong to a real-life friend.
- All legitimate federal grants are listed on www.grants.gov.
- Government agencies will not communicate with you via social media.
2. Watch out for scam emails, fake pop-ups, and fake bank transfers.
Some scammers will send out an email stating that you have a virus or other malware on your computer. Paying to remove the non-existent virus can be one part of the scam, but then the scammer may also gain control to “fix the problem” and have access to sensitive information.
- Do some research to ensure you are working with a reputable business.
- If you think there has been a banking error of some sort, contact the bank to determine the real facts.
- Don’t give a third-party access to your computer unless you know for sure it is customer support from a company that you contacted.
3. Watch out for home repair scams.
The first thing a scammer can do is quote you one cheaper price for work and then demand much more after it is finished. Another way the scammer can operate is to do repairs that you never requested or agreed to.
- If a stranger comes to your home seeking to do repairs, tell them you want to get other estimates. This will give you time to see if the company is whom they say they are.
- If you aren’t interested in the product or service, then don’t feel bad saying no.
- If you tell the scammer “no,” then they will oftentimes try to throw in a last-minute “deal.” Please, don’t fall for it!
If in doubt, contact a family member, friend, or even your local law enforcement agency. Often scammers are known to the police cyber units, and they can be of great assistance.
We Can Help
We are here to help guide you as you make decisions regarding your estate and long term care planning needs. Whatever issue is preventing you from developing a more extensive estate plan, please allow Elder Law of Middle Tennessee to assist you in this process.
For more information, contact our Lebanon, TN office at 615-444-3568 and schedule your appointment today.