In the 2017/2018 FTC Fraud Survey, just over 8,000 of every million people aged 60 or older filed a fraud report. These people fell for a scam. The median financial loss for people 60 or older came to around $740.
Senior citizens who admitted they’d been scammed listed phone as the most common form of contact. Email and websites were the other two common methods of contact. There’s a newer scam growing in popularity that runs via email and is tricking people. Make sure your parents know how the “Can You Do Me a Favor” scam works.
What is the “Do Me a Favor” Scam?
This scam is almost always done through email. It starts when you get an email from your boss, pastor, or another figure you would trust. The scammer claims to be away on vacation or a business trip and is working or checking emails from a hotel or house rental.
The message goes on to say that before he/she left, they forgot to get gift cards that were going to be used for a church raffle, rewards for certain employees, etc. They ask if the person can go purchase them and then send the gift card numbers so that they can award the recipients with the cards through emails. The promise is made that as soon as the pastor/boss returns, they’ll settle.
As the person who sent the email isn’t the boss or pastor at all, the gift cards go to the scammer. The scammer sells those gift card numbers online or uses them to purchase items that can be sold. The target never sees that money again.
How Do You Stop You Parent from Falling for a Scam?
Scammers are getting harder to identify. They can make it look like an email was sent from the address your parent knows as being their pastor’s or trusted person’s email. It’s unlikely that your parents will recognize it or know how to check the header information and code to see where the message really originated.
When they get an email, they should always ignore any financial transaction. If they believe it could be real, they should pick up the phone and call the person to see if it is valid. They need to make sure they use the phone number they have and not one listed in the email. They should not click any links given in the email.
If your parent is susceptible to scams, consider having caregivers stop by each day. Your parent could check emails only when that caregiver is there to help decide what is a scam and what is valid. With companionship services from a home care agency, your parent may not feel the need to spend as much time online as there is a person to interact with. Call a home care agency now.
If you or an aging loved one are considering in Homecare in Statesville, NC,please call the professional staff at Caring at Heart today at(704) 379-7510.Serving Charlotte, Statesville, Ballantyne, Mooresville, Huntersville, Matthews, Concord, Gastonia, Pineville and Indian Trail.