Identity theft is prevalent in today's society especially among the elderly. Scams can happen over the phone, online or by mail and seek to steal a person's personal information and money. Anyone can be scammed, so do not feel ashamed or embarrassed. If you receive a call and do not know the person who is calling you, DO NOT give out any personal or financial information. Hang up the phone and call your local police department.
The best way to protect yourself against scams and frauds is to stay informed and aware. The resources below are both reliable and informative:
Senior Medicare Patrol: this resource is great for tips and information on avoiding scams (both COVID and non-COVID). Check out their website at https://www.smpresource.org/ or call their hotline at 1-800-892-0890.
Federal Trade Commission website: this federal agency is working to protect consumers during the pandemic by helping them recognize and avoid COVID scams. Their website is
Although the pandemic has brought out the best in many people, some have used the pandemic to prey on others using new and elaborate scams.
Here is helpful information from the Federal Trade Commission (https://www.ftc.gov/coronavirus/scams-consumer-advice) to help you stay protected:
AVOID CORONAVIRUS SCAMS
Learn how to tell the difference between a real contact tracer and a scammer. Legitimate tracers need health information, not money or personal financial information.
Don’t respond to texts, emails or calls about checks from the government. Here’s what you need to know.
· Ignore offers for vaccinations and home test kits. Scammers are selling products to treat or prevent COVID-19 without proof that they work.
· Be wary of ads for test kits. Most test kits being advertised have not been approved by the FDA, and aren’t necessarily accurate.
· Hang up on robocalls. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from low-priced health insurance to work-at-home schemes.
Watch for emails claiming to be from the CDC or WHO. Use sites like coronavirus.gov and usa.gov/coronavirus to get the latest information. And don’t click on links from sources you don’t know.
Do your homework when it comes to donations. Never donate in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money.