LINCOLN, Neb. — Billions of dollars are estimated to be lost by senior adults each year to scammers, according to the National Council on Aging. Now, with the confusion and fear over the coronavirus, scammers try to capitalize. Federal, state and local officials across the country have alerted consumers, particularly older people, to be aware of several fraud schemes, including those tied to the virus.
Senior citizens have trust in many federal government agencies, and scammers know this. Various fraud watch networks are inundated with calls this time of year about scams involving someone impersonating an IRS agent, Medicare official, Social Security Administration officer, FBI agent or other government worker. Persons over the age 65 often are targeted because they’re more likely to own their home, have retirement savings and/or have excellent credit.
These schemes may include asking for Medicare numbers over the phone, or promising a government grant in exchange for a large sum of money, or stating that a personal social security number has been compromised, and finally, the tried-but-not-true sweepstakes scam that would give the consumer millions of dollars in exchange for fees and taxes before receiving any winnings.
No one should cooperate with a person claiming to be with the federal government who promises prizes or asks for personal…