With the advent of the internet, mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and the like there seems to a rise in scams to dupe you out of money. Particularly vulnerable in the scams are senior citizens. Why senior citizens? Since I’m a senior citizen, it my belief that we who grew up in the fifties have old school values. That being that we respected authority, the law, politeness, and believed people were telling us the truth when we received calls from people telling us they were from the IRS, Social Security and the like. There’s an old saying
that there’s "no fool like an old fool." Meaning a foolish old person is especially foolish because an old person should have learned from experience not to make the kind of mistakes a young person makes. Sometimes this is true and scammers know this; that’s why they target senior citizens.
Some of the more popular ways that scammers (crooks trying to steal your money) target senior citizens is as follows:
1. If you receive your social security on a debit card.
Scammers steal your card and PIN number if you use an ATM after hours. Only use your SS debit card inside the bank to withdraw money.
2. Another way is to call the debit card provider and identify themselves as you, say you lost your card and send them a new card to a new address because you moved. Check with your provider a few days before your card is to load and if you detect anything suspicious report to the provider.
3. If you get a call from someone saying they are from the IRS saying you owe back taxes and you need to pay them right now or you might possibly go to jail.
And they want you to pay with a debit card or Moneygram don’t fall for it. The IRS would never call you and ask that you send money.
4. If you get a call from someone saying they are from Social Security saying your SSN has been suspended and they need to verify your SSN and ask for your personal data such as birthdate, address, phone number, etc. Hang up and go to your local Social Security office. It’s a scam.
5. If you get a call saying, "This is about your credit card but everything is all right." Don’t respond, it’s a scam and they’re after your personal financial information.
Don’t say this only happens in larger cities it couldn’t happen in old easy going Cambridge Ohio. Really, let me tell you that all the above five instances has happened to yours truly. Beware, be careful, don’t be an "old fool."
See you next Sunday!
Bob Fettes is a semi-retired Cambridge businessman and Columnist for the Sunday Daily Jeffersonian. He can be reached at email@example.com.