Scammers maliciously and intentionally target lonely and vulnerable people, knowing they are more vulnerable to their deception. Unfortunately, the elderly are often the first target of these heartless scammers.
They tug at their hearts with a sob story and unfortunately, in many cases, successfully drain their entire bank accounts.
Veteran was evicted from his nursing home by a scammer
Here is a letter I recently received from Susie, who generously took the time to write me a very sad and frightening example of how low these scammers sink and the devastating consequences of their actions:
“Here’s a heartbreaking story for you. I volunteer at a nursing home. A very lonely 83-year-old gentleman who lives there and is estranged from his family responded to a phone call or the internet Scammers about 8 months ago. He is very aware and has no guardian or authority. He pays his own bills with his monthly VA and Social Security checks. This incredibly cruel con man has convinced him that she is a destitute woman with a teenage daughter. This evil person twice convinced him to give up his bank account and also his social security number. He is in love with this person and refuses to believe that he has been betrayed. The bank tried to help by terminating his account only to get him to give the scammer his new bank number. We at the nursing home spent months trying to convince him he was being cheated on.
WEAKEST PASSWORDS 2022
After months of deducting his entire monthly income, the scammer has been unable to pay his nursing home bills and is $12,000.00 in arrears. After trying to work with him for months, they gave him his 30 day notice. An employee was able to read two text messages between him and the scammer and the scammer had the audacity to try to help him avoid an eviction by encouraging him to tell the nursing home that he was being scammed! We know he never informed his children about the eviction because they too gave up telling him he was being scammed and left him.
So far, the nursing home has done everything they can to try and move him to another facility, but they either don’t have a room or don’t want him if he continues this charade of revealing his bank account number. He’s threatened with being put in a hotel for a week, and then he’s on his own. The police and county elder services were all notified and said it was not in their hands because the gentlemen refuse to believe he was scammed. I don’t have the means to help him in any way, but I’m still devastated for him.”
A very heartbreaking story indeed, although it is important that people take note of it and continue to remain vigilant and not let up.
COOKIES GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
Why are older people addressed?
As Susie’s letter above shows, people aged 65 and over are often the prime targets of scammers because:
- They are generally trusting
- You have good credit
- Are usually financially secure
- It is estimated that over $3 billion a year is lost to elder fraud. Luckily, there are some simple red flags to watch out for to avoid having your bank account drained by a scammer.
Warning signs to look out for:
- Never answer an unknown number
- If you don’t know the number of a call or text message, it’s always best to play it safe and not answer. Leave it to voicemail. With that in mind, here are a few ways to get ahead of the game:Make sure all important numbers are added as contacts in your phone
- Make sure all important numbers are added as contacts in your phone
CLICK HERE TO RECEIVE KURTS CYBERGUY NEWSLETTER FULL OF QUICK TIPS, TECHNICAL REVIEWS, SAFETY WARNINGS AND EASY HOW-TOS THAT WILL MAKE YOU SMARTER
In addition to having all your friends and family programmed into your phone as contacts, it’s probably a good idea to also have other important services programmed into them, including:
- insurance provider
- Cable and Internet Providers
That way you know that the person calling you is legitimately who they say they are. If your search reveals the call was dangerous, block the number immediately.
HOW TO CHECK IF SOMEONE IS STEALING YOUR WI-FI AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
3. Make sure your voicemail is set up
Most scammers don’t leave messages. However, on the rare occasions that they do, you can do a Google search for their phone number after they left the message, which is a quick and easy way to find out if the number that contacted you was, in fact, safe.
Neither the government nor any service provider will ever call you unannounced and ask for payment over the phone.
It is becoming increasingly common for scammers to pose as a company, e.g. B. as a phone or cable provider, or sometimes even the IRS, claiming that you are delinquent on your payments or that you owe a significant amount in back taxes. Even if any of these situations were true, you would never be called out of the blue and asked to pay over the phone. If you get a call asking for this, it’s definitely a scammer.
How to recognize fraudulent texts
If a scammer contacts you via SMS, you should first ask yourself if you know the number, and if it is a paid service, then again they will not contact you in this way. A few other important steps to remember are:
- Never open a link sent to you from an unknown number – it’s definitely malware or phishing software
- Never type STOP to prevent further messages – the very simple response could increase the number of scams targeted at you.
What if I or a loved one falls victim to a scam?
At first, don’t be the least bit embarrassed as it could really happen to anyone. And the worst thing you can do is remain silent, as you can help prevent this from happening to others.
DO YOU HAVE AN IPHONE? DON’T WAIT ANOTHER SECOND TO UPDATE CRITICAL PRIVACY SETTINGS
How to block fraudulent texts and calls from your phone
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
You can get a few steps ahead of the game by blocking unknown numbers from calling or texting you by following these simple steps.
Also, it is advisable to install a trusted text blocking service on your phone. Nomorobo is what I recommend the most. Available on both the Apple app save and the Google play store, Nomboro protects both landline and mobile phones. While landlines are covered for free, cell phones are covered for $2 per phone, but there’s a 14-day free trial to see if it’s right for you.
I also advise everyone to run a trusted antivirus program on all their devices. see my Expert rating of the best antivirus for your Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices by searching “Best Antivirus” on CyberGuy.com.