Protecting Seniors from Scams

Scam artists from all walks of life are coming out of the woodwork in droves, posing as Tech Support, Tax Accountants, Auditors, Appraisers, Financial Advisors, etc.   Who gets scammed the most?   Surprisingly enough, it isn’t always seniors.  Of the victims who continued interacting with scammers from a Microsoft survey conducted last fall, half were millennials (ages 18-34).  Still, nearly 20% were adults 55 and older.

If you or someone you know receives a call or an email from someone identifying themselves as a technician with Microsoft, Google, Apple or some other well-known technology company, it is likely to be a scam.  “Just hang up the phone,” said Frank Abagnale, renowned security expert and AARP Fraud Watch Network Ambassador. “The large computer firms never make proactive calls or send email to provide unrequested technical support.  Executing the scam via telephone, email or even pop-up ads, the scammers inform a targeted person that a virus or some other security problem has been detected on the victim’s computer, and offer to make a repair.  Instead, their goal is to gain control of the computer, access personal files and passwords, and obtain credit card information to charge the consumer for the supposed repair or a warranty program — which proves to be worthless.”

Abagnale advises consumers never to give control of their computer to a third party, nor to provide a credit card number to pay for unsolicited repair services or warranty programs.

For more tips about how to keep yourself safe from technical support scammers, visit the new Fraud Watch Network web page at:

It helps to stay informed so that we can take preventative measures for ourselves and our loved ones.  For more information on popular scams, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) has provided a description of the top ten scams targeting seniors

SOURCE AARP, PRNewswire-USNewswire