According to the FBI, seniors lose more than $3 billion annually from financial exploitation. Millions of America’s seniors become victims of fraud each year and are the most targeted victims of this crime.
Although there are many different types of scams, here are three of the most common that affect seniors:
Family/Caregiver Scam:The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that 90% of elder financial abuse is committed by a senior’s own family members or someone they know. Elder financial abuse most frequently occurs when a family member or caregiver has gained control of a senior’s money and assets and are using those assets for their own benefit instead of the benefit of the senior.
Medicare/Health Insurance Fraud: Since every U.S. citizen over the age of 65 qualifies for Medicare, health insurance and Medicare fraud are a common way to target seniors. Scammers pose as health insurance or Medicare representatives to convince seniors to disclose their private information. If you believe you’re receiving a health insurance or Medicare call from a perpetuator, hang up and call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) and report the scam at ftc.gov/complaint.
IRS Impersonators: Criminals typically threaten seniors over email, mail, phone or in person by saying they owe money for taxes. These scams are typically presented with a sense of urgency and scare tactics, in which they demand that the person pay immediately or face potential jail time. If this happens via phone, hang up and call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to check the validity of the call.
Protect Your Personal and Financial Information:
Never give money, gift cards, checks, personally identifiable information or financial information to people you don’t know and trust.
Resist the pressure to act quickly. Recognize the scam and end all communication.
Be cautious of unsolicited mail, emails, text messages, and social media messages. Don’t download or open any attachments or links from suspicious email addresses, phone numbers, or people you’re not familiar with.
Make sure anti-virus and security software are up-to-date on all your devices.
Contact Your Banker
If you are unsure of a call, email, or message asking for your personal information, financial information, or money in any format, or if you believe you’re a victim of elder financial abuse, don’t hesitate to contact a banker at your local branch.
BankSouth, Bank Secrecy Act & Anti-Money Laundering Officer
View our latest news and get the latest industry updates on our blog.
Keeping your personal information safe is always a top priority of ours. With increased access and use of technology and the Internet for online shopping, social media, online banking and so many more everyday activities, it’s very important that you...
CAUSE: More money floating around the economy EFFECT: Rising prices on goods and services (recent example: lumber) Inflation impacts the housing market because rising prices on good and services often results in a higher base house price. Inflation may also...
If you’re in the market to purchase a home, you’ve probably seen an assessed value, appraised value and a market value in addition to the home’s sales price. What’s the difference? Simply put, an assessed value is the value determined...