May is National Older Americans Month. During this month our goal is to ensure that seniors continue to live fulfilled, satisfied, and save lives. Unfortunately, in Florida today, there has been an increase in scams targeting Older Americans. As a generation, “Older Americans” are defined as seniors who are over the age of 60 years old.
This generation is targeted because Older Americans are perceived to be less aware of their surroundings, less aware of scams, and more trusting of the world around them. These generational factors indicate they could be more likely to believe mail scams, call-based scams, and online spam ads.
Our goal this May is to help Florida seniors and their loved ones be better protected against the scammers who are trying to exploit them. Let us share with you several of the most frequent scams that are impacting seniors right now.
1. The hurricane insurance scam. In the aftermath of this past year’s hurricanes, there are more and more scammers pretending to be hurricane insurance companies. They reach out to Older Americans through mail or call-based campaigns with the goal of accessing private financial information. They promise to protect the Older American during the next hurricane season in exchange for immediate upfront payments. Before investing in any of these companies, contact your current insurance provider to ensure that the person seeking to provide you insurance is a reputable source.
2. The Medicare scam. No matter what time of year it is the Medicare scam continues to be a prevalent scam against seniors. Through this scam, the criminal will try to influence the senior by offering health-related coverage and discounts. Before responding to any Medicare information you receive via email, mail or a phone call, first verify it is from a trustworthy source. As a general rule, do not provide any confidential information in response to a piece of mail or call you receive over the phone.
3. The grandparents scam. In the grandparents scam, the scammer contacts the older American pretending to be a loved one. Here, he or she uses emotional exploitation to make the senior believe that a loved one is at risk. Although it can be difficult, before responding to the scam get the contact information for the person on the phone, hang up, and contact a family member.
4. The computer virus scam. This scam is more recent than others but is no less prevalent. In this type of scam, the senior is attacked through his or her computer. This can be through an email, a pop up window or even through a phone. Do not respond and shut down and close the device as soon as possible. Seek the advice of a trusted professional because your device may be compromised.
We know it is not easy to be on guard at all times for scams like those described above, but it is good to be knowledgeable about current scams. These are just a few of the ways that predators are trying to attack Floridians today. If you know of a scam please do not hesitate to let us know. We are here to help you plan for the future and prevent attacks like this. Do not wait to contact our office for more information.