Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Scams Everywhere

"Never Ending"
“We have the never ending scam calls regarding vehicle warranty, there’s a warrant for your arrest, or you have won millions,” according to Oro Valley Police Sgt. Amy Graham.
“But now we are starting to see a trend towards using the computer against you. Scammers send emails as though they are with Microsoft or Amazon; or they let you know there was a mistake in a bill and; they are sending you money, they just need access to your account.  It’s amazing the number of ways they prey on peoples’ uncertainty especially around computers.”

Seniors most vulnerable  
We are all targets. But we are not all equally vulnerable. Lack of technology skills and increasing isolation brought by the pandemic have made seniors specific targets of scams. These include sweepstakes scams, romance scams, IRS impersonation scams, charity scams, healthcare scams, telemarketing scams, and tech support scams. 

...especially when it comes to family scams
Seniors can be scammed by their own family members, caretakers and neighbors. Their high level of trust in these people makes seniors vulnerable.

“Your grandson is in jail. Send bail money.” Or worse: "You are not competent so grant me financial power of attorney.” Often these requests come from previously uninvolved family members or friends seeking to get account access.  
Prevent computer and bank fraud
According to Sgt. Graham, here is what we need to do. 

"Do not give access to your computer to anyone online. If you are ever asked to download a program that is emailed to you do not do it.  If you received an email with a link to open be suspicious; and for your own computer’s safety do not click on it. Our biggest vulnerability is uncertainty and when we open a document, you cannot undo it."
Graham continues: "In this day of online banking, it is becoming easy for people to be attacked online. If ever you have questions regarding a bank charge, a computer issue or a phone call, hang up and dial the main company directly. Do not  use any phone numbers you were given by the suspect or through their sent email.  Slow down and double check the information. Even if it appears to be legitimate ask someone else who has more knowledge, such as your local bank or police department. Play it safe: Slow down, educate yourself and ask questions.”
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