Seniors are frequently the target of scams because they are more likely have substantial savings and tend to be more trusting and friendly. Sweepstakes scams in particular are often targeted at older adults who might not be tech savvy or understand what to watch out for. Share these warning signs presented by Toronto Home Care Assistance with your elderly loved ones to help prevent them from being taken advantage of.
1. You don’t recall entering a contest.
If you receive an email or postal letter stating you have won a prize for a contest or sweepstakes you did not enter, this is a red flag the contest is not legitimate, and you should immediately disregard the notice.
2. You have to pay a fee to get your prize.
Scam artists will claim these fees are to cover the transportation of the item you’ve won. This includes insurance fees, taxes, shipping fees, processing fees, and more. Never send money to obtain a prize.
3. You receive suspicious emails.
An easy indicator of a scam is the sender’s email address. A legitimate organization offering a contest or sweepstakes will have an email address from their company. Scam artists typically use free email accounts, such as Yahoo and Gmail. Scammers, however, have become very skilled at duplicating logos and email formats to make offers appear legitimate. Read through the email carefully and look for typos or incorrect information, which are other indicators the contest is fraudulent.
4. You’re pressured to act quickly.
Scammers will frequently pressure you to respond quickly to not lose the prize. This is to prevent you from thoroughly thinking through what you are doing and from doing an independent check to verify the validity of the contest.
5. You’re asked to provide sensitive information.
Often, scammers will request sensitive information, such as your bank account number to send your prize money, social security number to verify your identity, or your credit card number to process fees to obtain your prize. Never provide this information as it can easily be used by the scammer to make purchases and charges in your name using your credit.
Explaining the common indicators of financial scams to your elderly loved one can help him or her protect their financial health and avoid being taken advantage of. For more information on keeping your loved one safe, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of hourly and live-in care in Toronto, providing reliable care for seniors in the comfort of home. Call (416) 488-8777 and request a free in-home consultation today.