When it comes to identity theft, knowing about the latest scams could help prevent an elderly family member from being scammed. Unfortunately, scammers target senior citizens because in their mind they can strong arm or trick them a lot easier than a younger person. If you live in Santa Ana or another town and you have knowledge of a scam involving a senior citizen, please spread the word so others won't fall victim to identity theft.
According to a local Santa Ana man, he received a phone call from a man posing to be his dad's mortgage company. The caller started off demanding his dad's personal information in order to update his account. The caller even went so far as threatened foreclosure if his demands were not met. Luckily the intended target did not answer the phone in this case or else he could've given the caller what he wanted. The bottom line is that seniors are targeted for identity theft, so if this or a similar scam happens to you, be sure to spread the word.
Social security scam
According to victims on Scambook, seniors are receiving a letter or email informing them they are due a refund of $5,000 due to a mistake being made with their birthday. The only catch is that they must send $10 right away. According to victims, this scam looks official because the sender includes a Settlement Approval Form that is addressed to the U.S. government. Sadly, anytime you provide your personal or financial information, you are at risk for identity theft. Remember that just because an organization professes to be for a senior citizen doesn’t actually mean they are good.
Life alert scam
Seniors are receiving robocalls from various Life Alert companies informing them that they are eligible to receive a free medical alert system. Some have received a message stating they are ready to deliver their free medical alert system if only the victim holds to speak to a representative who then asks for their personal information such as their credit or debit card number or their Medicare ID number. The problem with this scam is seniors are not receiving a free medical alert system, but instead are at risk for identity theft because they gave out their personal information.
When it comes to identity theft, scams are the gateway, so no matter if you live in Santa Ana or elsewhere, you need to keep yourself informed and alert. If you have an elderly family member who has been the victim of financial abuse, contact the Elder Financial Protection Network for help and resources at http://www.bewiseonline.org/resources/ If you are a victim of identity theft visit the Identity Theft Resource Center for help and resources in your state by visiting, http://www.idtheftcenter.org/id-theft/state-resources.html
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Scam detector (2013). Fake Life Alert Scam Detector website. Retrieved from http://scam-detector.com/telephone-scams/fake-life-alert