You’ve seen the stories shared on social media or told at the dinner table about a family friend. You immediately thought, “how could someone be so naive?”
“I’ll send you 10 grand if you send me one thousand first. “
“I’m the Prince of a town in Africa…”
It’s not clear why senior citizens are so prone to fall for these traps, but they do in droves. At eZverifi, we find it our responsibility to help navigate the online landscape and to also make it safer to buy and sell online as well as meet strangers safely.
Scammers are constantly trying to catch people off guard and then they pounce. Because of this, they target older individuals thinking that they will fall for more of their antics. Do a simple Google Search for “Senior Scams” and you will find a plethora of scams that senior citizens are falling for. Anything from telemarketing scams, healthcare scams, romance scams, even a simple computer virus fraud scam.
Attempting to be safe online or when your phone rings can seem like a challenge, but the key is to stay alert, be informed and have your guard up at all times, expecting the worst out of every scenario. What can be done to help protect your loved ones, or if you are a senior citizen, you.
Don’t wire money to strangers.
Read that out loud. Of course, it sounds ridiculous, but people do it. Repeat, do not wire money to strangers. If someone is asking for money and you do not know them, it is not a good idea to send them any amount of money.
Use eZverifi to verify a stranger's identity.
eZverifi makes it easy to know who you are meeting, working with or simply who a new stranger is. By verifying one's phone number or email which is equipped with a unique identification number it's easy to know if someone is legit or not. If any red flags arise, such as a burner phone or offshore location, eZverifi notifies you. Then it is up to you to decide if you are willing to meet or continue the conversation with a red flag stranger. Choose wisely.
Put a cap on your spending limits.
Call or notify your banking institution and let them know that you want to put a cap on your spending daily or weekly limits. Start with $500 a day and if you need to decrease/increase your daily cap then do so, but at least you have someone else in your corner to block any unwanted charges.
If something seems out of place in the slightest ask a friend or relative to check it out.
Before you pull the trigger, call a friend or family member and ask. Don’t click links from people you don’t know and be careful that companies you have heard of are actually them. Scammers will say they are from Apple or Facebook but if you look closer at the email or url they are from non Apple or non Facebook email accounts. Sometimes you will see the English to be slightly off as well. Remember scammers are hoping your guard is off. It’s always better to bring in another source to verify first to ensure it’s not a scam.
Call the Police.
Tell the person you are dealing with (on the phone, text or email) that you are going to call the police. They likely will freak out and leave you alone. In the event they say it’s okay to call the police, don’t trust them. Still call the police to verify you are not being scammed.
Run a Google Check.
Search Google or the search engine that you use to check if others have run into the same challenge. Use some of the language used in the message to see what results come up. You can also use the email, phone number or images to see if others have been scammed this way. Be sure to use eZverifi here as well.
Wait. Nothing has to be immediate.
If it seems too good to be true it probably is. Unless it’s an Amazon lightning deal. Then you need to move fast. All joking aside, the crooks are hoping you will move fast because they know they have a small window before you realize they are a scam.
Scams happen every day. If you keep your guard up and follow these options, you are in better hands. Check out eZverifi to verify an identity now.