June 27, 2022

Senior News Line: How to defend against the newest scams

They’re getting better at what they do, more sophisticated and slick — scammers, that is. They’ve had lots of practice, and many are truly skilled, but what they all have in common is that they want your money and your information.

Scams against seniors get worse by the year, and the pandemic hasn’t helped. Many of the current scams are COVID-related: A scammer will offer to send you a box of at-home test kits — for a fee.

A fake contact tracer will call and claim to need to know your Social Security number for identity purposes.

Some will say that your latest doctor bill won’t be paid unless you give them your Medicare number. Others will claim to need your banking information so they can do a direct deposit of the stimulus money the government is sending you.

Some are new for this year: Supposed Amazon employees will call or send email to warn you about a large purchase. Fake rental-assistance payment scammers will try to get your personal information.

Far too many seniors are scammed each and every day. In 2020, seniors lost over $1 billion to fraud, with an average loss of over $9,000.

But you can stop it for yourself and not be a victim. Feel free to be rude. Hang up on people who are likely scammers.

Don’t even bother saying goodbye. Just slam the phone down. Delete emails that have any links without clicking on them.

Don’t bother opening the door to people you don’t know. Use a black marker to cover the information on old pill bottles.

Bonus Tip: Invest in a shredder. Look for one that does confetti cuts, small pieces instead of strips.

Shred everything that has your name, address and account or credit card numbers. Even envelopes with your name and address can give clues to scammers.

Shred them.

Matilda Charles

© 2022 King Features Synd., Inc.