Many people across the United States become victims to scams and frauds every year. Older adults are especially at risk of being scammed. Scams often happen over the phone. Common scams include:
· A caller saying that they are from the IRS and that you owe back taxes
· A caller saying that you have won a sweepstakes or the lottery
· A caller claiming to be your grandchild or someone else close to you who has been in an accident and needs money
Scammers usually ask for money. They may ask you to pay them through gift cards or a wire transfer. Many older adults have lost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to scammers.
The AARP has 3 quick tips for helping older adults spot potential scams or frauds.
1. You’re contacted out of the blue with an offer for free money or fast cash.
2. You’re pressured to act quickly, or told that the offer is available for a “limited time only.”
3. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
In Pennsylvania, the Office of the Attorney General wants to help protect older adults and other consumers from scams. A new text message alert system can help raise awareness about scams and frauds. These text message alerts will go out at least twice a month. They will give tips about how to spot and scams. They will also warn about new scams and provide updates on consumer protection issues. There is no fee for signing up for this service, but charges from your mobile carrier may apply. You can also decide to opt out of the text service at any time. To sign up for this service, please click here!