COVID-19 Scams and the Elderly: Inspiring Savvy Seniors

COVID-19 Scams and the Elderly: Inspiring Savvy Seniors

Millions of people turn to online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money. Read about the stories romance scammers make up and learn the 1 tip for avoiding a romance scam. People reported losing more money to romance scams in the past two years than to any other fraud reported to the FTC. Romance scammers create fake profiles on dating sites and apps, or contact their targets through popular social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, or Google Hangouts. The scammers strike up a relationship with their targets to build their trust, sometimes talking or chatting several times a day. Then, they make up a story and ask for money.

Patrick Morrisey

Typically the victim and criminal will meet through a social media or dating site. The criminal will then try to develop a relationship with his or her victim, sometimes spending several months making the victim feel they are in a romantic relationship. Often the scammer will say that they are another city or country and that they eventually want to meet the victim in person.

An elderly woman in Raymond is the latest victim of an internet dating scam. She’s now speaking out to warn others about looking for love on.

The FBI is advising consumers to be wary when using online dating sites after the agency saw a 70 percent annual increase in reported romance scams. Cybercriminals are reportedly using online dating sites to trick victims into sending money, providing personal and financial information, or even unknowingly acting as a money mule by relaying stolen funds. Learn these tips for keeping yourself—and your financial accounts—better protected when meeting people online.

Romance scams, also called confidence scams, are when a bad actor deceives a victim into believing they have a trusted relationship and then uses the relationship to persuade the victim to give money, personal and financial information, or items of value to the perpetrator. The initial grooming phase can last for days, weeks, or even months , and by that time, the victim may be extremely vulnerable to the scam.

Techniques of romance scammers are varied and may include:. However, elderly people, women, and those who have lost a spouse are often targeted. Fraudsters have used dating sites to find and target victims for some time, but there is a new twist on romance scams that involves international criminal networks using dating sites to recruit money mules. The victim is then asked to receive and send money from that account.

These bank accounts, the FBI says, may be used to facilitate criminal activities. Even if the account is flagged and closed by the financial institution, the scammer may continue to scam the same victim by asking them to open a new account or may begin grooming a new victim. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep yourself—and your financial accounts—better protected when meeting new people online. If you believe you have been a victim of a confidence or romance scam, the FBI recommends the following actions:.

Security Tips for Seniors

Australians love a bet and sports betting scammers are quick to capitalise on this. They will say anything to draw you in. Inheritance scams can be quite elaborate to convince you that a fortune awaits. Remember there are no get-rich-quick schemes: if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

‘ ” — —Nathan Wenzler, senior director of cybersecurity at Moss Adams. “These kinds of romance scams are very targeted social engineering.

Sasha-Ann Simons. According to the FBI, romance scams result in the highest amount of financial losses to victims when compared to other internet crimes. The ideal partner turns out to be a sophisticated scam artist, and a love-struck single is left not only broken-hearted — but broke. Being scammed by a romantic interest met online is now the most common type of consumer fraud in the United States, according to the Federal Trade Commission FTC.

In , nearly 40 D. And the criminal acts go beyond city and state borders, involving networks of accomplices overseas. Like many victims of online scams, Ann has kept her story private for the past three years, overwhelmed by feelings of shame. The vibrant year-old from Reston was once a homeowner making good money.

Today, she’s temporarily living rent-free with a friend who took her in. We’re referring to Ann only by her middle name because she fears retribution otherwise. After separating from her husband who was addicted to drugs, Ann went online and started dating. That’s where she met Tony, a something Italian man who, like Ann, was single later in life.

Romance scams

Because seniors are thought to have a significant amount of money sitting in their accounts. Low-income older adults are also at risk of financial abuse. Every U. In these types of scams, perpetrators may pose as a Medicare representative to get older people to give them their personal information, or they will provide bogus services for elderly people at makeshift mobile clinics, then use the personal information they provide to bill Medicare and pocket the money. Most commonly, counterfeit drug scams operate on the Internet, where seniors increasingly go to find better prices on specialized medications.

Cornerstone of Most Scams Senior Texans are targeted everyday through e-mail, regular mail and the telephone. Nearly every scam is designed to trick you into sending money or providing can lurk anywhere – but there are some that are especially common online. Click the link above to learn more. Romance Scams.

When they talked on the phone he would tell her about a woman he met online and occasionally sent money to. Even though her father never met the woman in person, she would profess her love for him through emails and ask him to send her money to feed her and her daughter. Angie told her father that he was being conned, but he would not listen and continued to send the woman money anyway.

It was only after Angie was given power of attorney over her father due to a massive stroke that she realized the extent of the scam. She found numerous emails from the woman asking for money, including receipts from wire transfers. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. To help the elderly avoid becoming victims of fraud scams, it is important to understand why they are targets, what schemes and tactics are commonly used against them and how these schemes affect them.

Unfortunately, elderly individuals are the most frequent targets of fraud scams.

Edmonton Police Service

Previously, she was director of financial education and advocacy at Council on Aging Silicon Valley. Shawna has published numerous articles on elder financial abuse and has presented throughout the country on consumer issues and innovative ways to prevent elder financial abuse. She has been a prosecutor for over 31 years. For the past 11 years she has been assigned to prosecute Financial Abuse committed against Elders and Dependent Adults.

While assigned to the D. We are sincerely appreciative to Judith D.

If you suspect an online relationship is a scam, stop all contact immediately. If you are the victim of a romance scam, file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime.

Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what’s happening in the world as it unfolds. The elaborate con job started with an unidentified person stealing a Florida’s woman identity, the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation said in a statement. The scammer then used the stolen identity to befriend the year-old widower through an online dating service, and worked to steal his heart and his money.

The con artist said the investments would be repaid along with a percentage of the profits from the sale of the sculpture. Investigators haven’t had much success tracking down the scammer. Victims often wire funds overseas or to third-party transfer agents, making it difficult to get the money back and identify the con artist, said Andrew Stolfi, administrator for the Division of Financial Regulation.

Romance scam

Scamming is big business in Canada — and scams against the elderly are unfortunately becoming increasingly widespread. These are just the reported scams, however; the true figure is estimated to be much higher. So you know what to look out for, here are the top scams targeting the elderly, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre , along with advice on how to protect yourself from them.

Catfishing Senior Dating Scam: What is it? Catfishing is a catch-all term for the practice of setting up fake online dating profiles to scam unsuspecting people.

The Internet provides numerous opportunities for seniors to meet people, conduct business, plan travel, access records, stay in touch with friends and family, and support hobbies and entertainment interests. You can learn how to take advantage of the opportunities without falling prey to predators so you can have peace of mind when you go online. Factors that contribute to increased risks for seniors. Every age group has unique vulnerabilities in addition to general Internet risks, and seniors are no exception.

Few entirely new types of scams are created to target seniors; the issue lies in how existing scams are tailored specifically to exploit older Internet users. In addition to being targeted for different types of crime, seniors may share characteristics that make them vulnerable online. Here are some of the major factors that make seniors vulnerable to online scams.

Top Internet Scams Affecting the Elderly

Nevertheless , our relationship consultants can set your mind at ease as a result of we have examined the most well-liked romance websites and apps to determine how they operate and what people in the seeing scene can easily count on. Luckily, loads of internet dating websites have taken the requires of senior citizen singles into account and a new friendly and accessible courting network simply for them.

Budget-acutely mindful singles should note that major on-line dating websites just like SilverSingles modify their prices models frequently to suit the necessity of the dating scene. SilverSingles has been known to offer thumb sales in its advanced membership ideas and online dating service, so look out for particular deals and promotions.

For example, while an online scam targeting minors is. Online dating is becoming very popular for seniors, some of whom have lost a partner due to death or.

These sites direct traffic to another site to capture personal information that can later be used to commit fraud and identity theft. Make sure your first line of defense knows:. This is a good opportunity to educate bankers and seniors alike on these new pandemic-related scams and how to maintain a watchful eye. Your bank can start helping seniors by passing along these 10 tips to help them become aware of scams:.

Watch out for phishing scams. Phishing scams use fraudulent emails, texts, phone calls and websites to trick users into disclosing private account or login information. Do not click on links or open any attachments or pop-up screens from sources you are not familiar with, and NEVER give your password, account number or PIN to anyone.

How to Spot Online Dating Scams


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