COVID-19 Special: Be aware of scammers exploiting the elderly amid the Coronavirus outbreak.
Scamming the elderly is a multi-billion dollar business in the United States. Sources estimate that the amount of money seniors annually lose to scammers to be close to $35 billion.
In the new light of fear regarding the Coronavirus pandemic, scammers are starting to use this “perfect timing” to exploit the most vulnerable, setting up websites to sell products, creating fake emails, texts, and social media posts as a tool to take people’s money and acquiring their personal information.
Some scammers claim to be from medical organizations that have a COVID-19 vaccination and require phone payments to reserve a dose. Is important to remember that currently, there is no vaccine for the virus, and some elders may not know that and try to buy the vaccine from the scammers, make sure to talk to them and keep them informed of recent updates.
To keep yourself and your family members safe from those who would gladly make money from the public fears of this pandemic, the Federal Trade Commission offers the following tips:
● Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. At best, it could provide you with incorrect information, at worst, it could download a virus onto your computer.
● Don’t open emails from people claiming to be from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other experts. These organizations don’t send out email blasts.
● Family members should continue to monitor the bulletins from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for the most accurate and up-to-date information on the fight against the Coronavirus.
● Ignore online offers for vaccinations or other “cures”. A real medical breakthrough won’t be promoted through only a website.
● Do your homework before donating to any charity, or buying into opportunities claiming that a company’s product can prevent, detect, or cure Coronavirus.
● Keep your computer virus software up-to-date, police warn, and do not open email links or attachments from sources you do not know — no matter what they say.
If you have any concerns please call our office number at 860-829-0208. We are always here to help!