By Matilda Charles They’re getting better at what they do, more sophisticated and slick … scammers, that is. They’ve had lots of practice, and many are truly skilled, but what
they all have in common is that they want your money and your information.
Many of the current scams are COVID-related: A scammer will offer to send you a box of athome test kits — for a fee. A fake contact tracer will call and claim to need to know your Social Security number for identity purposes. Some will say that your latest doctor bill won’t be paid unless you give them your Medicare number. Others will claim to need your banking information so they can do a direct deposit of the stimulus money the government is sending you. Some are new for this year: Supposed Amazon employees will call or send email to warn you about a large purchase. Fake rental-assistance payment scammers will try to get your personal information.
Far too many seniors are scammed each and every day. In 2020, seniors lost over $1 billion to fraud, with an average loss of over $9,000. But you can stop it for yourself and not be a victim. Feel free to be rude. Hang up on people who are likely scammers. Don’t even bother saying goodbye. Just slam the phone down. Delete emails that have any links without clicking on them. Don’t bother opening the door to people you don’t know. Use a black marker to cover the information on old pill bottles. Invest in a shredder. Look for one that makes confetti cuts, not strips that can be pasted together by crooks looking for information. Shred everything that has your name, address and account or credit card numbers.