Phone scams targeting older adults are becoming increasingly more common. The scammers usually try to play on emotions and a sense of urgency. Falling for these kinds of scams can result in thousands of dollars stolen, which is why it’s important to recognize a scam call if it comes your way.

Keep reading to learn more about these scams and what to look out for!

The types of scams

There are a few scams out there that are specifically attacking older adults. One in particular has to do with Social Security. This is a phone scam where the scammer essentially poses as a government official and says you will face arrest if you don’t comply with their instructions, which usually involve the caller demanding personal banking and security information.

How do I know if it’s a scam?

It’s important to know that Social Security will never contact you via phone unless you have previous business with them and have called before. In that case, check to see if the phone numbers are the same. If not, it’s likely a scam. Social Security will also never threaten to arrest you or other legal action.

 

Another scam, deemed the grandparent scam, is when a scammer pretends to be a grandchild or loved on over the phone. Often times, they will pretend they’ve been in an accident and ask for money.

How do I know if it’s a scam?

Check the number they’re calling from. Chances are you already have your family member’s phone number in your contacts. If it comes up as an unknown number, it is likely to be a scam. Also pay attention to how they’re speaking to you. Does it sound like the person you know? Often times, the caller will start the conversation by saying something like “hi grandma, it’s me,” wait for you to say a name, and then say “yes, it’s me.” If you’re not sure who you’re speaking with, just ask for their name, rather than trying to guess who it is.

 

Another recent scam that is coming up has been called the cardiac genetic testing scam. The scammers will try to get your Medicare information in exchange for fake cardiac genetic testing. Giving out your private Medicare information can lead to medical identity theft.

How do I know it it’s a scam?

If the call doesn’t come from your primary care physician, it is likely a scam. If the caller keeps asking for private Medicare or identity information, it’s best to hang up. Do not give out your personal information to people you don’t know.

 

What do I do if I’ve fallen victim to a scam?

Don’t be embarrassed, it can happen to anyone! When you realize you’ve been scammed, it’s important to act quickly. Check with your bank and notify them of any suspicious activity. Report the crime to the Social Security Administration or the Senior Medicare Patrol. If you’d like assistance, our team is here to serve. Give us a call at (479)-783-4500 extension 2021 for help!

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