Scams that affect seniors can affect anyone. But below is some information about scams that may especially impact seniors.
Cornerstone of Most Scams
Senior Texans are targeted everyday through e-mail, regular mail and the telephone. Nearly every scam is designed to trick you into sending money or providing your personal information.
The first way scammers do this is to get you to believe something good will happen to you (like winning a prize) if you do as they say. The other is by scaring you into believing something terrible has or will happen to you -- like your home will be foreclosed on or you will be arrested -- if you don't do as they say. In either case, through kindness or bullying they try to get you to send them money or disclose your personal financial information.
Remember that no legitimate government agency, business or organization will make unsolicited contact with you and then ask you to provide your personal information. Nor will any legitimate prize give-away, government grant, lottery or sweepstakes require you to pay anything up front to claim your winnings.
Your best protection against scammers making unsolicited contact with you is to hang up and not respond to their attempts to steal your money or good name. Hang-up your phone, shred the correspondence, delete the email, or shut your door and call the police.
There are other ways seniors and others are targeted that you should be aware of. Please take a look at some of the links below to learn more.
Tech Support Scams
Seniors may be unfamiliar with the latest technology or may fall for scammers’ elaborate tricks. Click the link above to learn more. Bottom line: Don’t let anyone gain access to your computer that you don’t know and trust.
Advance Fee Fraud
Advance fee scams can take many forms but they consist of you paying a fee before to obtaining some kind of benefit – an inheritance from a foreign government, a prize, and many more examples. Click the link above to learn more.
Lotteries & Sweepstakes
Know the law about lotteries and sweepstakes in Texas. Remember you shouldn’t have to pay a fee to win a prize. Click the link above to learn more.
Counterfeit Cashier's Checks
We are often taught that cashier’s checks are safe to accept. But the reality is that forgeries can be very convincing. When you are being asked to deposit one under suspicious circumstances, and return a portion to a stranger, beware!
Travel Tips and Scams
We all love to travel – but there are some pitfalls you should avoid. Click on the link above to learn more.
We can’t avoid all unwanted emails. But there are some things you can do to avoid potential dangers and limit emails you don’t want. Click the link above to learn more.
Scams can lurk anywhere – but there are some that are especially common online. Click the link above to learn more.
Unfortunately, when trying to meet someone new on the Internet, not everyone may be who they seem. Clink the link above to learn more.
“Grandparent” or Family Emergency Scams
Unscrupulous scammers may use your love for your family against you. Click the link above to visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website to learn more. Or, learn more about other similar scams here.