The United States Senate Special Committee on Aging recently released its 2019 fraud book, which warns seniors about the top 10 scams targeting elderly Americans.
During 2018, the committee says it received 1,509 reports of scams targeting seniors. The top 10 scams they list in the report account for more than 65 percent of complaints.
The most widely reported scams are IRS Impersonation Scams, followed by Robocalls / Unsolicited Phone Calls, Sweepstakes Scam / Jamaican Lottery Scams, Computer Tech Support Scams, Elder Financial Abuse, Grandparent Scams, Romance Scams, Social Security Impersonation Scams, Impending Lawsuit Scams and Identity Theft.
The state of Maine had the most reports of scams at 289, while New Hampshire, North Dakota and Wyoming had the least at 1.
The committee says the best way to protect yourself from these scams is to keep these tips in mind:
• Con artists force you to make decisions fast and may threaten you.
• Con artists disguise their real numbers, using fake caller IDs.
• Con artists sometimes pretend to be the government (e.g. IRS).
• Con artists try to get you to provide them personal information like your Social Security number or account numbers.
• Before giving out your credit card number or money, please ask a friend or family member about it. •
• Beware of offers of free travel!