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  • Writer's pictureAbbey Road Family Care

Beware of Scams Targeting Senior Citizens: Tips to Protect Yourself or Your Loved Ones


Unknown caller ID

Scams targeting older consumers are increasing as more people rely on online communication, allowing scammers to expand their tactics. Although scams can target consumers of any age, financial crimes against senior citizens aged 60 and older are on the rise. Reports vary significantly in the number of victims and the amount lost to scams.


Common Scams Targeting Older Adults


Artificial Intelligence Scams

Scammers use AI to clone voices, posing as friends or family. They make phone calls that sound like a loved one in trouble, urgently requesting money. To protect yourself, establish a code word with friends and family to verify their identity. Always hang up and call back using a known number.

Romance Scams

Be cautious of romantic interests or new friends asking for money, especially if you’ve never met them in person. Never send money to anyone you don’t know well or have only met online.

Tech Support Scams

Beware of pop-up messages on your computer or phone claiming there's a problem. Don't give remote access to your devices or pay any fees. Also, be cautious of fake emails that appear to be invoices or receipts for things you didn't order, designed to get you to click for more information.

Familiar Bank or Company Impersonations

Scammers pretend to be from reputable companies, warning you about issues with your account or orders. They try to trick you into sharing personal or financial information. Avoid picking up phone calls from unknown numbers or responding to unsolicited texts.

Government or Law Enforcement Impersonations

Scammers pose as representatives from the IRS, Social Security, or law enforcement, demanding immediate payments or threatening action. Remember, the government will not call you to demand urgent action or threaten you. In most cases, government officials will contact you by mail if there is an issue.

Investment Scams

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of unsolicited investment opportunities that promise high returns with little risk. Always research thoroughly and consult with a trusted financial advisor before making any investment decisions.


Tips to Avoid Being Scammed


New Relationships Interested in Your Money

Financial abuse can occur from someone known to the victim, such as a caretaker or a new friend. Be cautious of anyone who quickly becomes interested in your financial matters or presents you with investment opportunities.


Demands for Urgent Action and Personal Information

Scammers often create a sense of urgency, threatening that you'll lose money, access to your accounts, or even face arrest if you don't comply immediately. Always take a moment to verify the situation before taking any action.


Unusual Financial Activity

Monitor your accounts regularly. If you notice unexpected withdrawals or changes, or if a loved one suddenly alters their financial accounts, contact the financial institution immediately to investigate.


Wrong Number Scams

Scammers may text or call, pretending it was a mistake, and then attempt to befriend you to lower your defenses. Be wary of engaging with unknown contacts who seem overly friendly or inquisitive.

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What to Do If You're the Victim of a Scam


  1. Stop All Communication: Immediately cease all contact with the scammer. Do not respond to any further emails, messages, or calls.

  2. Document Everything: Keep records of all correspondence, including emails, text messages, and transaction receipts. This documentation will be useful for reporting the scam.

  3. Report to Authorities:

  • Local Law Enforcement: File a report with your local police department.

  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Report the scam online at the FTC's website.

  • Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3): Report internet-related scams to the FBI's IC3.

  1. Notify Financial Institutions:

  • Contact your bank, credit card company, or any other financial institutions involved. Inform them of the scam and ask them to monitor your accounts for suspicious activity.

  • Consider placing a fraud alert on your credit reports by contacting one of the major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.

  1. Change Passwords: If you shared any personal information or login credentials, change your passwords immediately. Use strong, unique passwords for each account.

  2. Check for Identity Theft: Review your credit reports for any unauthorized activity.


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