by Julie Randolph, Information & Access and Care Coordination Manager
Translation: “I want you to think that a little gamble will actually get you a prize, but I’m really just getting access to your bank account.” There is no trip, no prize, no sweepstakes, and no lottery. DO NOT BE FOOLED.
“I’m from the IRS.”
Translation: “I am lying and I have no power over you unless I can scare you into believing me and sending me money.” The IRS will not call you. Caller IDs can be faked. Hang up and call the IRS if you have any concerns at 1-800-829-1040.
“I’m in trouble and I need your help. I am scared and embarrassed. Please don’t tell anyone.”
Translation: “I am pretending to be a loved one and trying to make you feel like their only hope so I can steal your money.” Voices, emails, phone numbers, and social media sites can all be contorted to make this all believable. DO NOT BE FOOLED. Hang up and call your loved one and other family members who may also fall prey.
“You are so special to me and I want to build a relationship.”
Translation: “I hope you are lonely and willing to believe everything I say and send me your money.” Dating sites are a playground for scammers. Imposters steal profiles and photos. Things are not as they seem.
Translation: “I hope you let me in to your house so I can confuse or scare you into giving me access to your assets.”
According to the FTC in the first quarter of 2023 there were 97,352 individual reports of fraud totaling $432 million in losses for individuals 60 years of age and older.
Text Message Scams accounted for $330 million in consumer losses in 2022. The top five text messages were copycat bank fraud prevention alerts, bogus “little gifts”, fake package delivery problems, phony job offers, and fake Amazon security alerts. DO NOT RESPOND to a text from someone you do not know. Go to: “edit messages” to delete the message and block the number.
Never respond or accept a social media friend request from someone you do not know. If you are already friends on the site a new friend request means they have had a security breach.
The only way to stop the scammers is to resist them. Let them fall prey to your neglect.