Prevent Seniors From Falling——-For a Scam!

By Keep Fit and Moving Team | In News, Resources, Safety, Scams | on December 19, 2013

As a physical therapist, I have focused my professional attention on preventing older adults from falling through education, resources and exercises. As a son, grandson and son-in-law, I have added to my focus, preventing senior scams. I am personally involved in helping seniors, especially those who are new to the internet and trusting in the community, to know what a scam looks like.

With our nation’s growing older population, fraudulent schemes are becoming more popular and in demand. Con artists are everywhere and our seniors are a vulnerable prey to their deceptions. Sadly, many seniors are afraid to report a fraud or scam because they are usually too ashamed. If their family believes they no longer have the mental capacity to take care of themselves, then maybe an alternative dependent lifestyle is necessary.

Today’s high tech community is leaving everyone vulnerable to the latest con artist technique and strategy to take our money. Personally, I can’t even keep up with all the newest technological gadgets and their related deceptive schemes—so how can we expect our seniors, who have little context or digital life experience, to know what to do?

It is important to be prepared and prevent the next scam, because unfortunately the con artist is just waiting to lure-in our unsuspecting seniors. Today’s scammers are proficient in enticing our seniors with telemarketing, fake prescriptions and internet fraud schemes. Using a quick tongue, being knowledgeable of the subject and having an action plan is the mantra of the con.

For example, a phone call claiming to be a granddaughter is a sure way to push some emotional buttons for a quick money fix. Telling the grandparent that she is in trouble and would you please wire some money to pay for an accident or get out of jail has been repetitively used. All the personal information from the real granddaughter was found posted on her Facebook page. The granddaughter’s Facebook privacy settings weren’t high enough and allowed posted personal account information and facts about her family, friends and addresses to be viewed by anyone.

One solution, for parents is to download the new app FamilyControls, which was designed to configure privacy settings for kids. These features can prevent children from posting status updates and photos, prevent sharing websites and from sending or accepting friend requests. FamilyControls is the first-ever shared experience for Parents and their children to safely determine how much of the Facebook universe their kids will see. And this same app can be used to keep our seniors safe as well. By turning off the ability to click links, and filter out potentials scams, the same app that keeps kids safe online might just be another step in keeping seniors safe online too.

With healthcare costs rising, many seniors may turn to the internet to buy discount prescription drugs. Be wary of these scams. An older adult may unexpectedly pay for ineffective pills or even worse unsafe medication that may be harmful. First, discuss with your senior family member the pro’s and con’s of any online prescription medicine purchase. Make sure the site is secure, safe and a legitimate pharmaceutical company. Scam artists have been known to duplicate a site, siphon off the orders and then use the credit card info to make illegal purchases. Always use a non-critical real credit card (not a debit card) when making online purchases. That way, the risk is limited and insured.

Another risky situation, many seniors are not internet savvy and may find themselves downloading unnecessary software. When searching the web, they may come across a pop-up window stating—- you need a new virus software, download here. By downloading this software, a virus may have been released having the capacity to steal personal information. Or, there may be an e-mail, telling you that you need to update your personal information for a bank or the IRS. Never, release personal information without checking out the source first or asking a family member.

How do we help seniors and protect them from scammers:

  • Never give money to solicitors over the phone or in the mail.
  • Never give out personal information, to someone who contacts you.
  • Shred all documents with credit card numbers, social security numbers or personal information.
  • Never give out personal information from an email to a bank or organization without checking it out first.
  • Family members should offer to help seniors — open the mail and answer emails, when money or personal information is required.

I believe everyone has a personal responsibility to take care of themselves and also to help others. This is especially true when it comes to our older adults. Seniors need direction and advice with their health, finances and personal issues that must come from a trusted family member or friend. Play the devils advocate and say, “Today, this is happening in our world with con artists and scammers, so beware”. Seniors deserve and need our assistance on the internet, to handle daily finances and limit personal information exposure to prevent a fraudulent scam. TIME, INFORMATION and COMMITMENT is the best deterrent to a shameful and embarrassing scam —-to anyone.

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Like our Founder Bill Case, our passion with this website is to educate with preventative steps to eliminate those unnecessary falls and injuries in the older population. Along with specific exercises to help prevent falls, we are here to provide additional information about environmental risk factors as part of the overall fall prevention approach.

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69 Comments to "Prevent Seniors From Falling——-For a Scam!"

  • Fit4living says:

    December 21, 2013 at 8:44 am -

    I think it is very important that we look out for the welfare our elders. Also important is encouraging them to feel okay about reporting fraud or suspicious activity. They shouldn’t be fearful of being emotionally penalized because they fell for a scam. Even the most tech-savvy people are vulnerable on some level. I wouldn’t want my parents to feel that they would have to sacrifice their independence because they were victims of devious individuals.

    1. theshaynee says:

      January 16, 2014 at 7:25 pm -

      Agree with you there. It’s hard to prepare people who aren’t used to the internet very much at all, let alone what kind of craziness they can deal with through the various scams.

      1. kate86 says:

        June 10, 2014 at 2:16 am -

        Yep. I think it’s important to help older people out when using the internet, if they arent very familiar with it. Everyone falls for something sometime, and I think even voicing that might help someone who isnt familiar with it realize how careful they need to be.

    2. Tipes99 says:

      August 17, 2015 at 1:39 am -

      I agree with you. Its rather difficult to teach elder the hang of technology. It also very sad when they fall pray to scam that rob them of everything. I’m lucky because I have experience with them and so I’m able to help my family member. As much fun as watching them learn how to use a phone, tablet, or a computer. It is very dangerous! I remember when I was little and was trying to teach my grandma to use a mobile phone. I also had to stop her from clicking on this spam ads that almost fried my phone.

    3. xmaslights says:

      September 10, 2015 at 7:09 pm -

      I definitely agree with you! The fact that the elderly are getting scammed is horrible, and it’s even worse that many of them don’t know how to reach out for help to talk about it. I think it’s definitely important to crack down on the scammers themselves, while offering opportunities to the elderly to help them learn how to react to/deal with/receive help for being involved in a scam.

  • jennysue19 says:

    December 29, 2013 at 8:00 pm -

    Your article has some good advice but I also find myself feeling a bit insulted. Before retirement I was in IT for over 25 years and saw the development of computers from giants that needed aircon and filled rooms to the laptop I am using to type this.

    I do not need to be infantilized by telling me that all I can see online is what a 10 year old can see. While I have all my marbles, I can make decisions for myself about what is or isn’t a scam. Most of it is plain commonsense.

    As for phone calls, there are things that can help you. In the UK, we have the Telephone Preference Service and a similar Mail Preference Service which helps to screen out unwanted contacts. You can also opt via the electoral roll, not to have your full details on the version that is sold for marketing. My landline phone provider also lets me screen out calls from people who block their outgoing number. It can be overridden if I choose to give someone my number.

    As an internet marketer, there are plenty of businesses out there that are perfectly legitimate. Network marketing does NOT equal ponzi scheme. In the USA, millions of people replace regular jobs and supplement pensions by promoting networking businesses and it is growing in the UK.

    By all means advise in a respectful, but I find the overbearing attitude displayed here very patronising and somewhat of an insult to my intelligence.

    1. Bill Case says:

      March 16, 2014 at 5:58 am -

      My blog “Prevent Seniors From Falling —For a Scam!” was to inform seniors and their family members of the potential scams and con artists who prey on all of us—especially seniors.
      Since you have over 25 years of IT experience and are obviously a technological savvy senior computer user and phone blocker, then this information is not for you. So, instead of feeling insulted, patronized and infantilized with the blog, why not be proactive and say, Yes, there is a reason for concern for many seniors.
      According to the Retirement Industry Trust Association: Seniors own more than half of all the financial assets in America and they are the primary targets for fraudulent practices. It is estimated, that even though seniors only represent 12% of the population, they represent 30% of the scam victims.
      Documented Senior Citizen Scams: Health Care Fraud, Counterfeit Prescription Drugs, Funeral and Cemetery Fraud, Fraudulent “Anti-Aging” products, Telemarketing Fraud, Internet Fraud, Investments Schemes and Reverse Mortgage Scams.
      The blog was to start a dialogue with family members on senior scam prevention. It’s real, it’s here and I want to help. They deserve our input.
      I’m sure there are many seniors who can use your expertise. Don’t you?

    2. xmaslights says:

      September 10, 2015 at 7:13 pm -

      While you seem coherent enough and have learned about computers and know them in and out, I know that not many seniors have such an expertise in the subject, and furthermore, the people like you who are cognizant and completely knowledgeable of computers aren’t the ones being scammed. The victims here are often those who are alone, without much help, and those who are technologically unaware of many things. I have been called in to help my grandmother multiple times because she can barely understand and remember how to sign into her email. She’s been scammed twice, not because of any fault of her own, but because these scammers find the seniors who are trusting, sincere, and unaware, and exploit their naïtivity. I’m sorry you feel personally insulted, but this awareness is important for all seniors, whos positions are certainly much different than yours.

  • geoski says:

    January 8, 2014 at 7:24 am -

    I am a senior citizen and am happy to see the concern over scams as they relate to this age group. I have been active on the internet trying to generate some additional income through sales and marketing, and I have seen a lot of emails that are very obviously scams, and I have also seen emails that are extremely well written, and unless one knows what to look for, they spell trouble. It just irks me that somewhere someone will be lured into a scam and possibly loose almost everything they have saved for retirement.
    Recently a neighbor of mine lost $13,000 in a scam involving working from home. I ran across him at the local Starbucks, and as we started talking he mentioned that he was having some difficulties contacting a company he has been dealing with. After our chat, he asked to stop by and see if I could help him. Well, as I looked over all the correspondence, and tried calling the number he had been using to communicate with this company, the line rang as disconnected. The scam he fell prey to was an extremely well planned and executed. upon my advice he called and filed a police report as well as filed a report with ic3.com, which is a site for filing fraud and scams. That is a very useful site as it does give a description of many scams that are out there.
    To make a long story short, he did loose that money, and even though the loss did not totally ruin him, it did have a very strong impact on his finances.
    All senior citizens must be extremely careful with any offers, and never reply to emails requesting personal information. If an email is from their bank, or lending institution, prior to replying call the bank or lending institution to verify that the email was from them. Typically personal information is never requested via email.
    Just be careful, and be aware.

  • Cosmic Debris says:

    January 8, 2014 at 4:07 pm -

    This is one reason I don’t use Facebook. They require users enter their legal, given name and birth date into their system during the registration process. No matter how secure Facebook claims to be, hackers will eventually gain access to it, and no matter how thorough their pre-employment background checks are,employees and contractors can use that information.

    You never know where the next Edward Snowden will strike!

    I don’t know how you can prevent lonely seniors from joining Facebook-like sites, so it is best to limit how many they use. If you have only a few sites to worry about it will be easier to track where and how scammers gained access to personal information!

  • theshaynee says:

    January 15, 2014 at 3:12 am -

    The older peopled in my family including my mom have just now started using things like email and the internet. This will be really helpful. My mom is overly paranoid so she is always leery of anything and anyone online. It’s everyone else I have to worry about. It really is almost lie when you have teenagers on Facebook. You just have to hope that they don’t get themselves into anything.

    1. gladly49 says:

      June 8, 2014 at 4:48 am -

      Its a good thing that she is wary of what goes on on the internet. It should keep her safe and she should stay out of any scam troubles like these. Scams in general are really bad things that are way too common. I hope that everyone learns how to avoid them and that they can eventually be eliminated.

  • elidbugg says:

    January 16, 2014 at 8:05 pm -

    It is always good to be suspicious of offers online.particularly ones that promise you money, good health or a solution to all your problems. Anything that looks too good to be true usually is. Be suspicious of unexpected emails from your bank or financial institution. Remember banks don’t do business via email and never ask for confidential information via email.Scammers put a lot of time and money into making emails and websites look real. Don’t be fooled. Be suspicious and stay safe!

  • elidbugg says:

    January 16, 2014 at 8:10 pm -

    Financial scams targeting seniors have become so prevalent that they’re now considered “the crime of the 21st century.”Why? Because seniors are thought to have a significant amount of money sitting in their accounts.Financial scams also often go unreported or can be difficult to prosecute, so they’re considered a “low-risk” crime. However, they’re devastating to many older adults and can leave them in a very vulnerable position with little time to recoup their losses. especially the elderly.

    1. gladly49 says:

      June 8, 2014 at 4:46 am -

      I know, I think its one of the saddest things, especially because most seniors do not have whatever target money they are looking for. I hope that we can come up with ways to stop this and make it so that our seniors, and everyone else can be more safe.

  • gladly49 says:

    June 8, 2014 at 4:45 am -

    I really hate that the elderly are a huge target for scams. I wish that we didnt have scams to deal with.

    1. GenevB says:

      August 12, 2015 at 2:47 pm -

      Elderly will always be a target for scams since they tend to be left behind by technology and times, the only way to avoid that is by telling them to consult with they son before buying or investing anything.

  • oraclemay says:

    June 9, 2014 at 12:24 am -

    I think we need to take responsibility for keeping our elders well informed, especially about scams that are going on locally. We should ensure that they do not make any important decisions or give out information without us. We are able to do most tasks on their behalf and so we should.

  • oliverleo says:

    June 17, 2014 at 9:02 pm -

    This is sickening! how can these people take advantage of elderly persons like this? ahhh!, but this is also because they’re not given the proper instructions on how to use the internet. I mean, if you’re gonna show your parents or grandparents how to use something, at least do it properly. There are just too many people being scammed! and if young oftentimes can’t tell them apart, what can we expect from elderly people, It’s not right!.

  • Navarro0321 says:

    June 29, 2014 at 5:13 am -

    You tackle very salient points on safeguards to protect our seniors from malicious, scurvy con men, who are relentless in preying on the ethos of the elderly. They adorn their snake oil pitches with logic, promising outcomes and flowery language — that is sure to to compel the elder to biting the bait. By the cloak of their tentacles, these predators love to feast on the folks in their golden years, and the tenderfoots alike; this is egregious! I mean it is baffling how these balderdashers’ sole mission in life is to dupe the misinformed, the naive, the desperate, the young’uns, and the seniors who may alienated by their loved ones.

  • Navarro0321 says:

    June 30, 2014 at 1:26 am -

    So many scams are out there–and always will be. Since you pay for what you don’t know, it behooves seniors who are marked for being hoodwinked, to be aware of phishing emails, requesting pertinent information like name and most times, even address is all that is needed for a crook to commit a cyber crime such as identity theft, gaining assess to all accounts. Accordingly, there is a new virus online nowadays dubbed “The Heart Bleed Bug”, which is a new online security breach where personal information is compromised. Think twice and exercise some discretion before following a link in your email, especially those that use hyperbole, making outlandish claims on the premises of work-at-home opportunities, prescription drug discounts, telemarketing, investment returns, home loans, and such and such. It may seem like common prudence, but one must duly investigate any establishment before plunking down any cash or personal information.

  • wvboarder says:

    July 7, 2014 at 4:49 pm -

    This is great information to know and definitely something I will implement in my life. It’s terrible that some places, even legit jobs, actually train employees to take advantage of seniors. Many seniors are not tech savvy and its terrible that they get taken advantage of so easily. Information is the best weapon against these type of scammers.

  • oraclemay says:

    July 19, 2014 at 12:06 am -

    It is a fact that 60% of the world’s population are over the age of 60 and this number is growing. It is important that we protect the rights of our Elderly. We need to take it a step further and ensure that the rights of all elderly persons are protected by the law.

  • oraclemay says:

    July 19, 2014 at 12:09 am -

    The rights of the elderly are violated across the world. They are often excluded, abused and deprived. Their human rights are currently neglected and this is tolerated worldwide.

  • oraclemay says:

    July 19, 2014 at 12:11 am -

    Older people .need to be acknowledge for the incredibly powerful group they are and respecting their rights can only benefit society as a whole. Inconsistency in this area needs to be done away with.

  • oraclemay says:

    July 19, 2014 at 12:19 am -

    Older people who are lonely and have no family support are likely to be vulnerable targets of scams. Those that are isolated and receive very few visitors are in a worse position than those that lead active lifestyles.

  • oraclemay says:

    July 19, 2014 at 12:28 am -

    You also need to be cautious of home caregivers. they have been known to take a credit card that does not belong to them and go shopping with it. Keeping credit cards in a lock up safe is a good idea.

  • oraclemay says:

    July 19, 2014 at 12:32 am -

    It is a sad fact of life that the elderly seem to be more desirable to thieves. This can make one paranoid, but even some family members can be dangerous to the elderly as they may take advantage of them.

  • oraclemay says:

    July 19, 2014 at 12:35 am -

    Crooks are clever. They look for people who have resources. The elderly are the one’s who often have these after a lifetime of hard work. They have savings, social security checks, pensions and homes. These make them prime targets for scams.

  • oraclemay says:

    July 19, 2014 at 12:51 am -

    Discussing your parents vulnerability and susceptibility with them can be a real challenge. They sometimes become offended and begin to wonder if you are not more interested in protecting your inheritance than you are them.

  • askanison says:

    July 21, 2014 at 8:09 pm -

    I haven’t had to worry much about internet scams with my parents, but their community has seen an uprising of phone scams as of late. I moved back home to take care of my mother and it has taken a month to get the daily calls, almost 5 and hour, to stop. They were deluged with calls offering medications, some saying they had an order they haven’t paid for yet, just everything you could think of. I have taken my time and contacted every single one under the threat of suing them and the calls have finally stopped. Well for now. Scamming unsuspecting seniors is a large threat someone should do more about.

  • healthandfitness says:

    July 22, 2014 at 10:26 pm -

    It is amazing how low people can be. I cannot imagine why on Earth someone would attempt to scam an elderly person. This world is full of wretched scum that have no values or morals. It seems like every generation is becoming more and more degenerate. I think there should be more efforts in place to educate elders on these scams and pitfalls.

  • SaraQ says:

    July 29, 2014 at 12:27 am -

    I agree be it is our responsibility to take care of our elders and unfortunately there are a whole lot crooks out there that disrespect and violate the rights of elders which immensely saddens me. We should facilitate our elders as much as we can and in my opinion it really is our duty to do so.

    1. AgingGracefully says:

      November 17, 2015 at 12:10 pm -

      I couldn’t agree more. Our elders have done their best for us all our lives and now it’s our duty to repay that care and kindness in equal measure. And if we feel ourselves getting impatient, we need to remember how patient they were with us!

  • Diane says:

    July 15, 2015 at 6:05 am -

    I’m fairly familiar with technology, and am very scam savvy. I can’t say the same for my elderly Mother, and in that in that respect, I’m glad she’s not on the internet. She has a difficult time even getting off the phone with telemarketers, and I’m sure she would click on a pop up offering to help with a virus. Many who are familiar with the internet click them, so it’s not surprising that those with less experience with scammers would do so, or fall for the myriad other fraudulent schemes.

  • guruprto says:

    July 24, 2015 at 8:54 pm -

    One step I take in ensuring my parents’ and grandparents’ internet privacy is ad control and computer security. I load their computers and tablets with the latest antivirus programs and ad blockers to keep their information safe. It’s a preventative measure for when I’m not physically there to steer them from frauds and scams.

    Thankfully, my mother is an avid fan of Tru TV and crime reality series, so she some knowledge of the tricks scam artists use to cause harm. I would be lying if I said these television programs haven’t left her a little paranoid (I can’t dare miss a couple of days without calling or she’ll think I’ve been kidnapped or something), but if it keeps her safe from identity theft then I won’t complain.

  • Angel says:

    July 26, 2015 at 5:08 pm -

    When it comes to financial investments, I follow the general rule : If it’s good to be true,don’t go into it! I know of some seniors who were lured into parting with their hard-earned money for promises of yields that are unrealistic considering worldwide trends and precisely too good to be true.
    I’m also a senior who would rather be on the conservative side, investment-wise, than risk my money. If ever I have to take financial risks, these would have to be very calculated. I always bear in mind the fact that the time and capacity to earn are of course very limited for seniors.
    The effects of financial downfall are more severe for seniors than any other age group precisely because of the above limitations. These include depression,stress,sleeplessness and health problems.

  • GemmaRowlands says:

    July 28, 2015 at 7:47 pm -

    I think that electronic scams are becoming more and more of a problem all the time, especially in the older generation. One of the main issues is the fact that it can be incredibly difficult to know what is a scam and what isn’t, because they seem to be so genuine. You only realise that it was a scam when it is too late to do anything about it, and you have lost the money from your account. If you know of any elderly people, do try to keep your eye on them, because your help could make a huge difference to them.

  • Selvie says:

    July 30, 2015 at 10:20 am -

    I can’t believe that people would prey on the elderly in this way. Its just shocking and sad. I wish we could reach every elderly person out there to warn them, but I guess we can’t. We can however help the elderly in our homes and communities and hopefully it spreads further out and of course the internet thankfully allows us to reach a lot more people than just in our communities. We need to share this everywhere and create an awareness in young people that they need to pay some attention to what is going on with their parents and grandparents because I think that our hectic lifesyles just absorbs all our time and we sometimes neglect our elderly.

  • Lilly Smith says:

    August 6, 2015 at 4:10 pm -

    Not only do these scum bags prey on elders for various reasons like selling them something they don’t want or need, they also prey on their emotions. I have a friend who is in her early 70’s who got caught up in the “love” scam! She is a sweet, sweet lady who was just lonely and was contacted via internet by someone that she started corresponding with. Long story short, she ended up losing over $25,000 to this scum bag!! Several of us tried to track this guy down and even turned all the info over to the authorities, but so far nothing. They have gone on to others I’m sure. Such a shame! Our technology can be a wonderful thing and a curse at the same time when in the hands of the wrong people.

  • Diane says:

    August 7, 2015 at 10:46 pm -

    I’d love to get my Mom a tablet, because I know she would love being able to look things up all the time the way most of us do, especially recipes and local sales, but there would be a steep learning curve to start with, since she hasn’t used a computer in years, and I’d really be concerned about this issue, since she has trouble even saying no to letters in the mail begging for money.

  • GenevB says:

    August 9, 2015 at 7:18 pm -

    Nowadays seniors are the most common target between scammers, because they happen to have the money and the good faith in order to be scammed. In my opinion the best way to avoid being scammed is to either consult with a lawyer before doing any action that would include a large amount of money or with a child of the seniors, but most seniors are too arrogant to consult with their grown up children.

  • Esmael says:

    August 27, 2015 at 11:15 am -

    I remember seeing a commercial on TV for awhile now, I think it’s been around for years but its called acorn lift stair chair or something like that. Its a machine powered chair lift that transport the senior up and down the staircase. That sounds pretty sweet, but its very expensive. I’ve yet to see one in someone’s home too! They must be rare.

  • xmaslights says:

    September 10, 2015 at 7:25 pm -

    It’s really sad that these scams even exist, and it’s absolutely criminal that these scammers are targeting the elderly. A lot of them are vulnerable, uneducated, and scared, and it can really mess up their entire financial situation once they realize that they’ve been scammed and actually receive help. My grandmother has bene scammed twice, and each time she’s become more and more scared of even using her computer. Our main method of communication is through email, and now that she’s been burned, it’s even harder for her to even trust the emails that she’s getting from her own family members, because she’s started to secondguess everything. This type of education is needed for the elderly, because unless we educate and help them see the warning signs, they will keep getting burned.

  • Diane says:

    September 10, 2015 at 8:19 pm -

    It’s disconcerting how many scams are conducted these days. I discussed this article with my Mom after reading it, and she is very cautious with her accounts. She doesn’t even have the internet, so those types of scams aren’t really a concern. However, she recently was out shopping, and attempted to pay for her items using her credit card, and it was rejected. The reason it was rejected was that the bank had put a hold on the account, because of suspicious activity in Jordan. Mine you, my Mother hasn’t been outside of New England since her honeymoon many decades ago, so thankfully, the bank picked up on the activity as unusual, and only processed two transactions before catching the issue. Thankfully the issue has been cleared up, but it’s important to remind our elders to look over their account statements, or if they don’t care to, and will allow us to, that task can fall on our shoulders.

  • Diane says:

    September 10, 2015 at 8:23 pm -

    Another type of scam to be mindful of and remind our elders about is insurance scams. There is big money to be made in billing insurance companies for things such as durable medical equipment, and scammers are aware of the profits that can be made. Medicare is very cautious about approving durable medical equipment these days, because of all the scams that have been perpetrated with regard to mobility scooters and similar items. It’s important to guard our insurance information as well as we do our bank and credit card information.

  • Diane says:

    September 18, 2015 at 9:53 pm -

    I was reminded earlier of another scam that targets the elderly and sometimes middle-aged people. It’s called the Grandparent or Grandchild Scam, and targets people by claiming that a family member, often a grandchild, is in trouble and needs money, whether for bail money, or to get out of some other type of jam. Military families are often targeted, stating that an issue has arisen while on military leave, etc. Often, the person is contacted during a time when they’re not thinking as well as usual, perhaps while sleeping, or when first waking up, and the caller creates a sense of urgency, to instill fear in the target. It’s important to resist the urge to act immediately, and give any account information. First, verify that there is in fact a problem, and if so, proceed carefully. Here’s a link to an FBI release about this type of scam. Often those living along the border, or with family members living along the border are also targeted for this type of con. https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2012/april/grandparent_040212

  • krissttinaisobe says:

    September 29, 2015 at 11:15 pm -

    There seems to be some sort of scam going on all the time. I’ve found some helpful sites to help us if we are ever victimized of such scams:
    * http://www.idtheftcenter.org/. This site helps victims and helps consumers. Keep informed about the latest scams, help for victims of scams and quizzes to help you keep from being scammed.
    * http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts. This site has the latest scam alerts to be informed and not be tricked by scams.
    * http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0076-phone-scams. Federal Trade Commission’s site about phone scams and how to avoid them.
    * https://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/e-scams. FBI’s site for the latest on e-scams.
    * http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/cyberfraud.htm. United States Securities & Exchange Commission site to help protect you from investor internet fraud and valuable publication and educational information for consumers.
    * http://www.scambusters.org/. A site to keep you informed about scams, identity theft news & consumer savvy tips. All free to join and subscribe.
    Locally in Hawaii we do have schemes being found and brought to the attention of the consumer via news.
    Reporting internet crimes will help catch the culprits to stop them from hurting and scamming people. Where to report internet crimes?
    * http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
    * https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/cyber. At the FBI site when you click report cyber crime it will automatically go to ic3.gov/default.aspx.
    * http://www.stopfraud.gov/report.html. Site for all the different kinds of cyber crime to report with just a click!
    * http://www.justice.gov/criminal-ccips/reporting-computer-internet-related-or-intellectual-property-crime. A site to report computer-internet related crimes or intellectual property crimes.
    * http://www.justice.gov/actioncenter/report-crime. A site to report other kinds of internet crimes such as people trafficking.
    * http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft. FTC’s site for identity theft & data breach help.
    I hope no one is victimized by scams or other crimes ever.

  • krissttinaisobe says:

    October 3, 2015 at 10:31 am -

    It is so sad that people got scammed. There is also tax wise you can recoup for it is a theft that had happened. Be sure to ask your accountant about it. Some insurances cover you for theft. Being scammed means that someone stole from you so you might be covered by your insurance, so be sure to check with your insurance agent about the theft or scammed that happened and they’ll help you. You’ll need your police report file number for taxes and insurance claim.

  • krissttinaisobe says:

    October 3, 2015 at 10:41 am -

    I have Id theft protection plan IDShield and today I got an alert that I’d like to share with you and here is the link for it:
    https://t.e2ma.net/webview/cgr4k/fcd0752825f787f0445b33723cc1cbe6 .
    The alert is about T-Mobile and if you are affected you’ll be notified by Experian by mail. Someone got into T-Mobile’s computers and accessed information (possible data theft) for people who applied for T-Mobile services from Sept. 1, 2013 – Sept. 16, 2015. The link has the “what to do if you’re affected.”

  • Celerian says:

    October 4, 2015 at 8:27 pm -

    I always make sure to call my grandchildren before providing any kind of information! Better safe than sorry

    1. krissttinaisobe says:

      October 12, 2015 at 10:48 pm -

      You are so right about confirming if the caller or emailer is who they say they are:
      http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-Business/214350/impostor-scams-are-on-the-rise , says that imposter scams are on the rise in a Feb. 2015 article on the net. The bbb.org has an article about Server Imposters:
      http://www.bbb.org/blog/2012/03/beware-bogus-process-servers/. It is a danger when scammers pose as loved ones and other important people! Sharing what’s going on with people is one of the most important ways to stop scammers too. Be sure to let Senior Citizen’s know about this situation too! Thank you!

  • krissttinaisobe says:

    October 12, 2015 at 10:54 pm -

    Just got an update from AARP about being alert to internet scams. Here is their link to article:
    http://blog.aarp.org/2015/10/09/cyber-aware-know-the-top-internet-scams/?cmp=SNO-FBPAGE-ICM-AO-WJ&socialid=252098359. Share article with everyone please-thanks!

  • 55andAmbitious says:

    October 23, 2015 at 10:00 am -

    I fell for a scam before. And I only turned 52 in my official senior age. Anyway, my experience taught me a big lesson. And am passing the lesson learned to my 79-year old mother. Like me, she’s technically challenged, but ever willing to learn from others’ knowledge and expertise. She enjoys her Facebook tremendously. She’s also carefully accepting about my warning about not clicking any pop-up links that look tantalizing.

    Informative advice , @Bill Case .

  • Nemesysbr says:

    October 23, 2015 at 5:20 pm -

    People that profit over other’s innocence are disgusting. Scam artists who predate upon the technologically challenges are the plight of the internet, and I hope that in the future the internet can finally be a place where we are able to trust others more often than not.

  • Heda says:

    November 16, 2015 at 11:02 pm -

    I think we should always teach our grandmas and grandpas how to use the Internet and be really patient with them! Always repeat to them what the dangers are and how do scams look like! I hate people who create those scams, knowing that many old people will actually fall for them..:(

  • AgingGracefully says:

    November 17, 2015 at 12:07 pm -

    This advice is as valid today as it was when the post was first written, and now there are even more sophisticated ways in which scammers can relieve the elderly of their hard earned savings. Anyone who has relatives who aren’t as internet-savvy as they are owes it to them to help them avoid falling for these evil practices. And it’s not just the computer they shold be aware of – more and more sophisticaed phone scams are around now. Take care yourself and help others take care too.

  • Amelie says:

    December 15, 2015 at 1:01 am -

    Even people who were born during the digital age have fallen for scams. Scammers are wily and smart and savvy, so we all have to be twice as wily, smart and savvy. Seniors are one of their favorite targets because technology is completely foreign to some of them. That’s why it’s imperative that we all help make sure that seniors are made aware that something this vile now exists in our world. And I agree with the article – please be vigilant when posting online. Protect yourself, and more importantly, protect the more vulnerable of your family members. Make sure you are not exposing them to risks.

  • krissttinaisobe says:

    December 15, 2015 at 3:32 am -

    Sometimes what helps people is reading an article about a situation that helps prevent many scams from happening. I always tell my Mother about things to keep her abreast of things and give her articles to read so she understands the threat of being scammed and it helps ourselves stay safe. December is a month for holiday merrymaking and fun. We gather with family and friends to celebrate life and bring in the New Years together with hope and love. December is also National Identity Prevention and Awareness Month.
    At this link is an article by SLA legal division.

    Being aware that there is a problem about keeping identity safe is the first step to safety for all of us. You could be the one that helps your country to stop identity theft. Stay aware and safer. Happy Holidays everyone!

  • krissttinaisobe says:

    December 17, 2015 at 3:23 am -

    Aloha! FYI…on the news week there are reports of new-old scams over the telephone starting up again. The Police have come on the news saying don’t fall for the scams that demand you pay now or they’ll sue you claiming to be the IRS…they threaten you right over the phone and scare you-I’d say “can I have my attorney get in touch with you? May I get your name and phone number?” When I get it I’d call the cops on them! Then they won’t hurt or scare anyone else ever again! I got an email this year too about being summoned! I got curious and brought the print out to the police to make sure about it. The police said it is a bogus email and showed me a real summons. Wouldn’t you know it I got a real summons after the incident of going to the police! The server let me sign for the summons and I called around to verify the summons and everything all checked out.

  • krissttinaisobe says:

    December 19, 2015 at 7:07 pm -

    Alerting you to a new kind of internet crime that can be reported by filing a complaint at ic3.gov. Just this week I went to my email recent activity page and noticed that current session was in California and I live in Hawaii! Strange isn’t it being logged in from Hawaii and current internet session is found to be California is a crime. I would like to share this article about the crime and who to report it too for you know anyone accessing your email or any of your internet account is up to no good and it is in your best interest to report the crime to ic3.gov a FBI site:
    *https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/10l/31/how-to-report-a-computer-crime-unauthorised-email-account-access/. Article is by Sophos an award winning computer security news.

    I was so dismayed and upset about the situation of being hacked at 2 points on the internet. My facebook account as well as my email account is hacked and unauthorized logins done in different locations and obviously not me. From facebook the page to go to check if you are the only one logged into your account is settings-security-where logged in clicks.. You can get to the settings via the click you go to log out, but you click your settings instead.

    Checking maybe weekly at your recent activity or where you’re logged in will tell you directly if you’re the only one accessing your account. The scammers are up to no good, why else would unauthorized access to your accounts happens, aside of invasion of privacy,so report them to ic3.gov as soon as you can.

  • krissttinaisobe says:

    December 22, 2015 at 9:48 pm -

    Aloha! As time goes by I realized that scams are not the only thing that Seniors or anyone who uses the internet and has a computer whether a smartphone, netbook from the library or a desk top and ipads, laptops and other computers we have to be very vigilant and careful of our information. We do banking, buy goods, if in business sell goods, build businesses, and more all with vital information. Whether our social sites or our business sites where transactions of money occurs we have all sorts of valuable information. When I found out that current sessions at my email and facebook went on I had a terrible feeling of where else do the scammers invade? Why they invade is known to only the scammers, but we can make sure our information is safest as can be. One way is with free virus scan and free walware scan and not only scan but removal & protection from virus & malware of most kind. AVG has more protection for all your tech tools as well as speed up performance of your computer.

    Malwarebytes has free malware scan and removal too. Many use AVG and Malwarebytes like it and recommend it because we use it and like it. Computer runs faster and is protected. I found you got to use it daily for people like me who already is infected with places of login different than it should be. Another free virus scan and removal is by Microsoft which I like too. By far AVG has a more complete package for free for you to use and be protected and have a faster running computer!

    Being a victim is terrible of any crime. When your private email, facebook or other accounts in cyber space or brick and mortar maybe quietly accessed or hacked, it is good to know that there are tools to help you be protected to stop and prevent it forever!

  • krissttinaisobe says:

    December 22, 2015 at 10:03 pm -

    There are other ways to protect your computer use. Just by being curious and wanting to have maximum plugins at chrome I found a page to help you have maximum privacy for chrome web browser use. The page is chrome://settings. As you scroll down you’ll find an area for sharing. You got to physically go to the page to make sure you have maximum security and privacy. Check to make sure everything is as you would want it to be when using the browser by going to settings, scroll down to check all your settings.

    One other thing I found while wanting to have all plugins for chrome is the plugins page. When using chrome web browser, chrome://plugins or from settings page search box type in plugins then you’ll arrive at the plugins page. When you click on the plugins page you’ll find all the information to have your computer to run with maximum speed with plulgins such as adobe flash and javascript etc. so you’ll have an easier & faster computer use.

    These two tools in every browser will help you have a maximum speed and ease of use for all sites when you check the settings and plugins area of your web browsers. Though I’m not tech savvy I asked the search engine all sorts of questions and joined a laptop-forum to get help and to learn. Learning quickly and finding solutions at the laptop-forum and finding options to a fun and safest computer use now to eliminate stress and bring endless optimum computer use always from now! From being computer illiterate before 2004 I think it is a fun tool to have the use of computers. Now they won’t catch us who are not tech savvy off guard any longer!

    Having these tools to help us not get scammed for our information that unfortunately can lead to identity theft that can wipe out your life savings is a safety tool we all need. I hope these tools will help us all from being scammed in any way!

  • diligentworker says:

    December 26, 2015 at 1:27 am -

    The world we live in nowadays, with so many technological advances in computers and telecommunication, is heaven to hackers, scammers, and con artists. I understand this now more than ever before. To keep from becoming the next victim, I’m going to follow all the advice offered in this blog post.

  • krissttinaisobe says:

    December 26, 2015 at 6:40 am -

    It has been a few days since I’ve added the malware protection and virus protection for free. The feedback the protection says is that it detects things when I open sites that I usually go to. Someone in chatabout.com on a post I posted about social security said her computer detected 3 virus when she applied online at IRS.gov! This is how computers get infected it seems. I’ve only used the free ones so far and they are good. Since I only borrow the library’s computers I’m not buying any protection for the little netbook we can borrow to take home. I love a fast computer and the free virus protection has a turbo charge your computer click too, so it’s worth it to use. So far so good. I’ll have to return this netbook on the 28th. This is all the update so far.

  • krissttinaisobe says:

    December 26, 2015 at 6:49 am -

    Upon another subject for safety when using your computer. When you receive any questionnaire don’t answer it especially when it comes out of the blue. If you had requested an application, it’s different for you are expecting it. If it is out of the blue always ask your search engine about it. Please don’t click on the email at all no matter how good it seems. Write a log of all the contest and sweeps you entered and compare it with your email to be sure it’s from the company and site you’re registered at. If emails invite you to enter big red flag…check with searches and be sure to report any bogus ones quickly too. Company sites are up on it and will walk you through reporting it. Work together with the company and if you’d like to report the scam to ic3.gov be sure to let the company know so they’ll be up on the inquiry from the FBI too. When reporting things to the ic3.gov, like a phishing email ask for reporting phishing emails and the site will come up for the ic3.gov forwarding email address. When you report the scammers you’re making it safer for all. Don’t forget to enjoy your internet use mostly and don’t let the scammer get to you in anyway!

  • krissttinaisobe says:

    December 27, 2015 at 11:15 pm -

    Update on adding malware and virus protection. I have to return my netbook borrow on Monday. How to remove unwanted and need to remove programs from your computer is easy. Just go to your control panel to uninstall programs. The only problem is to wait until your computer uninstalls the program can be long. Some take about 45 min. to an hour to uninstall. It’s good to check your control panel at the same time to see if everything is apropos as well. Uninstalling programs is simple and easy to do when you don’t want to have any programs you decide you don’t want to have or buy.

    One thing I did notice is that once you’ve installed in this borrowed computer it slowed down the performance considerably. It runs faster now that I’ve uninstalled programs I’ve added.

  • krissttinaisobe says:

    December 27, 2015 at 11:36 pm -

    When choosing your particular malware and virus protection it’s good to see reviews on it. Even if you want a PC speedup program, check the reviews on it first. Always when you install it you can uninstall it at your control panel of your computer, so don’t worry.

    To check your accounts for location is a good idea to do to make sure your accounts haven’t been hacked or being commandeered away from you. Take and keep control of all your accounts. Periodically with no set date so it will be sporadic and undetectable to anyone when you check your location of all your accounts. If you find something isn’t right, be sure to let your account company know and report it to ic3.gov, for your safety. I think it’s a good idea that you let the company know too that you’re reporting it to the authorities so they both can work together to stop the theft and hacking into the company’s security.

    Always enjoy your internet use. Never get angry or frustrated over uncontrollable situations. But always protect your accounts, by being vigilantly checking for your safety.

  • krissttinaisobe says:

    December 29, 2015 at 10:05 pm -

    Here is an update from what I’ve been going through with my virus protection and malware protection. I’ve found one of the best free virus and malware protection from microsoft. It’s Microsoft Security Essentials found at:

    I found that Microsoft Security Essentials is totally free and works like a charm too! My little netbook borrow from the library worked fast, my cursor didn’t jump and neither did my page scroll all by itself. It’s absolutely the best I’ve found for all sorts of protection. Now if it can only stop accounts from being hacked and logged in from other locations it’ll solve all my problems! I’m still working together with facebook, twitter and yahoo about where logged in at.

    I enjoy using the computer a lot. I play games on it too so I need a fast computer! Pretty good for computer literate at 2006! Happy computer use!

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