Avoiding Elder Financial Abuse

Recently, the Internet Crime Complaint Center of the FBI reported almost ten thousand complaints involving tech scams targeting older adults who encountered over $116 million in losses.

Financial abuse scammers frequently present themselves as technical support or service representatives who offer to resolve issues connected to compromised email or bank accounts or even the renewal of software licenses.

Not only are elders generally more trusting than younger people, they are inevitably more financially secure.

Keep an eye out for these common scams:

  • Telephone. Older adults are known to receive unsolicited calls from scammers impersonating various tech support workers on the phone.
  • Search engine advertising. Elderly adults rely on web searches to obtain tech support phone numbers. Financial scammers often pay to have a fraudulent company’s contact information show up higher in search results.
  • Pop-up messages. Elderly adults sometimes receive pop-up massages claiming a virus has been located on their computer. Scam victims are requested to call phone numbers connected with fraudulent tech support companies.
  • Email. Elderly adults receive emails stating their support subscription has expired or that a potentially fraudulent charge exists on their account. The victim is then encouraged to contact the scammer via phone.

Much like the rule “when in doubt, throw it out”, when it comes to tech support, if you are at all unsure, then hang up, delete or escape and, finally, never open an email just out of curiosity.

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