Anyone can be a target for scammers. We’ve all heard stories about people who fell for scams and lost staggering amounts of money. Even with older people, the scammers are certainly not on their guard.
According to IC3’s 2021 Elder Fraud Report, more than 92,000 people over the age of 60 fell victim to fraud last year and reported $1.7 billion in losses. Many of these seniors have lost all of their savings and will most likely not be able to recover financially.
In this post, we have listed the 5 most common scams that elderly people in the United States are currently facing. We’ve also included some excellent tips at the end of the article so you don’t fall for any of them.
Top 5 scams targeting seniors
#1 – Tech Support Scam
Scammers posing as technology companies or customer service departments of online services will contact you and try to convince you that there are technical issues with your device/account.
If you accidentally visit a malicious website, you might encounter a pop-up notification stating that your device is infected with malware and you need to run a scan.
Scammers can make the notification go full screen to “lock” your screen. As you panic, they instruct you to dial a number for help. On the phone, they will encourage you to give them remote access to your device.
Thus, scammers can download genuine malware and steal all credentials/personal information stored on your device.
Tech support scams also circulate about SMS and email. Scammers add malicious links to such messages and encourage you to click them in order to solve a fake technical problem, “verify” your account, or for any other false reason they think you might fall for. Below is an example.
They are often taken to a fake login page and asked to enter an email address and password. Any information entered ends up in the hands of scammers, allowing them to take control of any online accounts associated with those credentials.
#2 – Non-Payment/Non-Delivery Fraud
We have already reported several times about delivery fraud. Scammers pose as delivery companies like FedEx, USPS, and DHL and send you fake delivery notifications via SMS or email:
- William Your Fedex delivery is scheduled for tomorrow at [time]pm Tell our driver if you are at home:
- USPS NOTICE: Your order has been shipped. Please track your order and let us know when we can come by
Arrival ETA: 2-3days
- Arrived today: / your Amazon / package. More information at:
The attached links lead to fake login pages that require you to enter credentials. Again, they can use this information to take control of any associated online accounts and potentially steal your money and identity. Be careful!
#3 – Trust Fraud / Love Fraud
We can all agree that messages like the one below can be very enticing to a lonely person.
- I want crazy nights with you we can do it. You can get my mobile number and location here:
- Do you want a date night with Elora? She does. She is deperate and eager to be satisfied! Check out her message and reply now:
If someone clicks on any of the included links, they will be taken to a romance scam site like the one below.
Then they are taken to a survey page that asks for their personal information, including their email address, password, and even their credit card details.
Scammers also use email to distribute links to deceptive adult websites. They can impersonate well-known companies like Tinder, but sometimes they just send an email that contains nothing more than a URL.
The tactic is the same: they try to steer people to fraudulent adult survey sites where they might end up giving away their sensitive information. Scammers can use this stolen data to steal people’s money and identity.
#4 – Lottery / Sweepstakes / Inheritance Fraud
Free gifts and prizes are almost always too good to be true! As we have written many times before, when there is a lottery scam, scammers ask you to click on phishing links:
- Join J&J’s Heartline study in partnership with AppIe. Receive rewards worth 150. oo or more.
- Your number was randomly selected online and won 2.8 million in the 2022 Nations Lottery. Visit
and confirm with the winner reference. No: NL22WIN1
The links take you to fake online survey sites stating that you can get a reward after completing one of the questionnaires.
Finally, you must provide your credit card number, expiration date, and even CVC code before your fake gift can be delivered. Don’t be fooled!
In the email version, scammers will ask you to reply with your personal information:
The goal of inheritance fraud is the same. Scammers claim that you are the beneficiary of an inheritance and ask you to reply to their email. At some point, however, they will request your personal information. Beware!
#5 – BEC (Business Email Compromise) Scam.
Put simply, a BEC scam is when a scammer pretends to be your colleague or one of your business email contacts and sends you emails asking you to wire them money or sensitive or confidential information to reveal.
How do these scams work? Here are some tactics they can use:
- mock accounting system: Scammers pretend to be a foreign provider and request wire transfers for payments to his account.
- CEO scam: Scammers pose as the CEO or senior executive of a company and send an email to people in the finance department asking them to wire them money.
- Account Compromise: An employee’s email account is hacked and used to request invoice payments to suppliers listed in their email contacts.
- Lawyer impersonation: Scammers pretend to be a lawyer in charge of important and confidential matters.
- data theft: Scammers target HR employees to obtain personally identifiable information (PII) or tax returns from employees and executives. They then use the data for future attacks.
Below are some examples.
7 tips to protect yourself
- If you suspect a scam, calm down and never act too quickly.
- Remember that free gifts and prizes are always a big red flag.
- Check people’s contact details and website URLs.
- If in doubt, go directly to the official websites and support pages for help.
- Use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) to protect your online accounts.
- If you come across a scam, file a report with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center to help others.
- NEVER click on links or buttons from unknown sources! Use Trend Micro Check to Detect Fraud with Ease – FREE!
After you pin the Trend Micro Check extension, dangerous websites will be blocked automatically! (Available in Safari, Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge).
You can also download the Trend Micro Check mobile app for 24/7 automated fraud and spam detection and filtering. (Available for Android and iOS).
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