If you see something, say something. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security advises us to follow this rule in regards to suspicious activity. Seniors are often easier targets for financial scams. A 2017 AARP survey found that nearly half of financial fraud victims were over 70. However, the sad reality is that 43 out of 44 elder financial scams go unreported. Therefore, it is vitally important for people to report anything suspicious. Because financial scams targeting seniors are a nationwide issue affecting many lives.
Often people who suspect financial scams against seniors do not know where to turn. They are unaware of how and who to report it to. Luckily, Next Avenue describes three common elder financial scams. The article explains what to do is you suspect one has occurred.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) impersonation scams are common. This involves the crook saying the person owes back taxes or penalties. They also threaten things like arrest or foreclosure unless they hand over the money. Sadly, many seniors fall victim to this scam. Approximately 12,300 Americans have become victims. Consequently, they have lost around 64.9 million dollars from this type of scam alone. If you suspect this, go to the United States Treasury website. Then you can fill out the IRS Impersonation Scam form.
The Do Not Call registry can be helpful. Yet it does not guarantee unsolicited phone calls will be stopped. New technologies help scammers get around this registry. Help your aging loved one sign up for NoMoRobo to help prevent this type of scam. It is a free service that blocks against many robot calls that financially scam seniors.
Sweepstakes and lottery scams frequently affect seniors as well. These calls claim the senior has won the lottery or been entered into a contest. Then they are asked for money to improve their odds of winning. Report this type of scam on the Federal Trade Commission’s fraud report form. You can also call 888-382-1222 or the State Attorney General.
All in all, if something suspicious is bothering you, trust your gut. The fact that people rarely report suspicious fraudulent activity only perpetuates the problem. You could help seniors around the country by reporting just once. Regardless of the loss amount, it is never a mistake to report it.