Senior citizens targeted: new scam aims to steal money

If you have an older family member, be sure you know the latest scam hoping to target the elderly.  While answering a fake phone call may seem harmless, these scammers are experts at gaining your personal information which can then lead to identity theft. Now, scammers have created a way to pretend their victim has won money.

Watch out for this senior citizen scam and prepare your loved ones so they don’t fall victim.


Senior Citizen “Won Money” Scam

This latest scam was reported in Tallahassee, Florida, but it could be making its way to your state soon. The scammer calls someone of an older age and tells them they’ve won money – big time. The scammer explains that the winner will receive the money once they’ve paid taxes and fees. The biggest catch? They tell you not to tell ANYONE that you’ve won this money.

A grandmother fell victim to this call recently, and she mailed the scammer two checks that totaled $13,500. Thankfully, her daughter found out and called her mom’s bank to cancel the checks.


What the scammers want in the “Won Money” Scam

The scammers claim that you send a check for taxes and fees, which will be a small percentage of the earnings you’ve won. They hope to get your cash, usually through check, and of course- there’s never any large sum of money being won randomly.


How to avoid being scammed

It’s important to be wary about phone calls from numbers you don’t know.

  • Add all of your doctors and important phone numbers to your contacts. That way, if you get a call from someone you don’t know, you can not pick up. If you have an older loved one, do this for their phone and instruct them to not pick up calls from unknown numbers.
  • Make sure your voicemail-box is set up. If it’s a scammer and they leave a message, you’ll be able to look up the number and information later on to see if the person leaving the message is real without answering or asking any questions.
  • Never send money to someone you don’t know.


What to do if you fall for a senior citizen scam

  • If you gave any personal information, contact your bank immediately to flag the potential fraud.
  • If you mailed any personal checks, call your bank to cancel the check before it clears.
  • Report the scam to the FCC


Be on the lookout for more of the latest scams:

5 scams to watch out for this month

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