Senior Watch — Online Theft Scamming Older Americans

Senior's holding a laptop

A crime statistic that is affecting more seniors today is that of online scams. Studies show only 1 in 20 seniors who are scammed report this crime or are made whole. They don’t report this because they are embarrassed, according to Scott Pierrello, Deputy District Attorney Senior Task Force in San Diego. Seniors are the group that stands to lose the most as they are more unsuspecting and may not be as tech-savvy as those in their 30s-50s. Seniors who are home alone are often innocent victims of such scams where criminals portray themselves as someone the senior can trust such as a grandson, or a tech support representative from Microsoft, or even disguised as someone from Best Buy Geek Squad.

If you want to protect yourself, experts say DON’T RESPOND if someone calls, emails, or texts you where they are asking for sensitive information, try to make you act urgently, or create fear that if you don’t act something terrible will happen. Hang up, don’t respond. Tell someone who you are close to so that they can check to see if there is an active scam. Sometimes just googling “Microsoft Tech Scam” can give you answers. Always double-check and it’s okay to be paranoid if something doesn’t seem right. Trust your instincts.

In San Diego County you can find out or report more information:

To watch the recent 60 Minutes report on Senior Scams:

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