Seniors are the target of criminals who are willing to use every avenue possible to scam them out of money. Scammers prey on victims through intimidation, fear and exploiting a person’s loneliness.
Some common scams include: the Grandparent Scam where a caller will pretend to be a stranded grandchild in need of cash; a caller claiming to be from the IRS demanding immediate payment on tax debt to avoid arrest; a caller claiming to be from the local police department with a warrant for arrest unless immediate payment is given; and a caller claiming there is a problem with the persons computer and they require access and payment to fix. Con artists use voice calls over and Internet connection to alter caller ID and could be calling from anywhere in the world, regardless of the area code victims see when they pick up the phone. Callers are rude and scary and there are too many scams to list! A September 2016 article in the Huffington Post “The Top Scams Targeting Seniors and What To Do About Them” at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anthony-cirillo/senior-scams_b_11766650.html provides more information.
You can cut down the number of telemarketing calls received by registering a number on the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registry using https://www.donotcall.gov/ You can also report unwanted calls on this website.
To report a scam call or email to the FBI visit https://www.fbi.gov/tips . Information on internet scams can be found at https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/on-the-internet.
Talk openly with your parents about the fact that their demographic is the target and help them to know it is okay to be rude or hang up on someone if they suspect a scam.