Phone Scams Targeting Seniors

January 9, 2023 • Fenny Peiffer

a phone call from a scammer

Phone scams are becoming more and more common as scammers find new ways to exploit vulnerable populations. In this article, we will discuss the most common types of phone scams targeting seniors, how they work, and what you can do to protect yourself.


What are the most common types of phone scams targeting seniors?


Grandparent Scam

The Grandparent scam is one of the most common types of phone scams targeting seniors. This type of scam involves scammers calling unsuspecting victims and pretending to be either a grandchild or other relative in need of money or assistance. Usually, they will claim that they are in trouble and need money urgently. The scammers will also often give detailed stories and information about the grandchild or relative, in an attempt to seem more convincing.


IRS Impersonation scam

Another common type of phone scam targeting seniors is the IRS Impersonation scam. In this type of scam, scammers will call pretending to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They will tell victims that they owe money to the IRS and must immediately pay it back, or else they will face criminal charges.


Tech Support Scam

The third type of phone scam targeting seniors is the tech support scam. In this kind of scam, scammers will call pretending to be from tech support and tell victims that their computers have a virus and that they must act quickly to fix the problem. The scammer will then ask the victim to pay for a service that they don’t need.


How do these scams work

Phone scammers use a variety of techniques to convince victims to give them money or personal information. They may pressure victims with threats of criminal charges, or they may try to take advantage of the trusting relationship between a grandparent and grandchild. Scammers may also use false information to appear more convincing, and they will often ask for money or personal information immediately.


What can you do to protect yourself from phone scams?

The first step in protecting yourself from phone scams is to be aware of the different types of scams that are out there. Never give out personal information, such as your Social Security number, bank account number, or credit card number over the phone. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS or another government agency, hang up and contact the agency directly. Additionally, never wire money or send prepaid cards to someone you do not know.


How to report a phone scam

If you believe you have been the victim of a phone scam, it is important to contact your local police department and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as soon as possible. Additionally, you can file a complaint with the FTC online.

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