Online scammers target seniors

Scammers frequently target the elderly more than other demographics due to perceptions that older Americans are more easily confused by technology, more trusting and more likely to have a nest egg. Therefore, Scambook, the Internet’s leading complaint resolution platform, is alerting the public to the increased risk of financial fraud and other online money scams facing senior citizens from false charities to online retailers charging hidden fees or membership costs.

To help seniors guard against scams, Scambook encourages families to discuss financial issues with respect and transparency while recommending the use of pre-loaded credit cards for online shopping. Prepaid cards enable seniors to stick to a budget and avoid being ripped off — if the pre-loaded card becomes compromised, the senior’s other financial accounts will still be safe.

Consumers may wish to investigate prepaid cards such as True Link, which provides an additional anti-fraud monitoring service specifically designed for seniors and their caregivers. Many financial institutions also issue disposable “one-time” credit card numbers for increased fraud safety while shopping online.

Scambook offers the following additional tips to protect seniors who are at risk of financial fraud and scams:

  1. Check Your Bank Account Online Every Day. Online banking makes it easy for individuals to check their checking and financial accounts daily. By developing a routine, any suspicious charges can be observed and disputed right away.
  2. Be Careful Where Donations Are Made. Donors should think twice before giving money to a charity, political group or nonprofit, especially if they’re soliciting donations online. Do some background research to make sure the organization is real and not a scam. Scambook offers more tips to avoid charity scams.
  3. Look for Reviews of Sites, Sellers and Anything Else. Before making an online purchase, buying from a seller on Craigslist or sending money to an organization that cold-called you, it’s important to look them up to verify them. Companies can be found on Scambook.com as well as by searching the web.
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