Every year, millions of elderly Americans fall victim to some type of financial fraud, identity theft, and other related scams. Since many seniors tend to be more trusting, have financial savings, own a home, and have good credit, they're often attractive targets of scammers.
Common Types of Elderly Scams:
Grandparent scam: Criminals pretend to be a relative such as a grandchild via phone or email, asking for funds to be transferred because of a financial emergency.
Government impersonation scam: Criminals pretend to be government employees via phone, email, or mail, claiming that payment is due for taxes that weren't fully paid and threatening to arrest if funds are not received.
Customer support scam: Criminals pretend to be customer support representatives calling from somewhere that the victim has an account with, such as Medicare, the utility company, or a financial institution, tricking victims into giving their information over the phone.
Sweepstakes/charity/lottery scam: Criminals claim their targets have won a lottery or sweepstake, which they can collect for a “fee.”
Ways Elders Can Protect Themselves:
Be on the lookout for scams. If you recognize a scam attempt, end all communication with the perpetrator and report it immediately. Mattel FCU Checking Account Members also receive free identity theft aid.*
Only download files from sources that you trust. Be wary of email attachments sent to you, especially if they're from someone you don't know.
Resist the pressure to respond immediately. Scammers often lure victims into immediate action by creating fear. Never share personal information or send payment to someone you don't know or trust.
Be leery of unsolicited phone calls, mailings, and door-to-door services offers.
Ensure you're using up-to-date and reputable computer anti-virus and security software.
Avoid using easy-to-guess passwords. Also, don't use the same password for multiple accounts.
Mattel FCU wants to help all our Members stay safe. Please contact us at 310.252.4545 if you notice any suspicious activity or have any concerns about your accounts.
*Visit www.mattelfcu.org/checking for more information.