Scams This Week 9/13/22

September 13, 2022

One of the populations most targeted by scammers is seniors. Here are the top three ways scammers are stealing your loved ones' information and money and the red flags to spot to avoid it.

  1. Romance Scams: This is the number one loss for seniors. Victims are usually isolated and targeted when posting about being single or a widow or widower. Scammers are watching on every platform, dating sites, and social media and will spend weeks or more months gaining the victim’s confidence. Often the scammer will claim to be working out of state, or they can’t meet in person or chat on video. They will usually switch to a communication app like telegram or WhatsApp that is not monitored so they can eventually ask to borrow money. They usually have an excuse that plays into the victim’s emotions, like they want to come to see them and be with them. The scammer may also be using the victim as a “Money Mule” to launder their money. They’ll say the money that they need to be sent is for a family friend, a wedding gift, a lawyer, etc.
  2. Government Imposter Scam: The Scammer poses as a trusted government agency- Local Police, FBI, Social Security, IRS, etc. It typically starts with a cold call using the victim’s trusting nature and familiarity with whatever agency the scammer is posing as. They use fear and urgency to confuse and push the victim to pay (similar to methods used in the grandparent scams). Remember the Government does NOT make calls like this, and will never demand payment. Even if they did they would not accept Gift Cards, peer-to-peer, Crypto Currency, or ask you to mail cash. Hang up and call the agency in question if you have any concerns.
  3. Advanced Pay  Scams- This scam is commonly seen in the form of an award scam, where the victim will be contacted about winning a sweepstake or foreign lottery or receiving a grant. Similar to Government Scams, the scammer poses as a trusted entity like Publishers Clearinghouse, company, or government agency. The victim is asked to pay a smaller amount for taxes or fees to obtain a much larger amount of money. Remember, if you did not play you did not win. You never have to pay if you win, and they would take the taxes out of the winnings if you actually won something.

Please talk with your parents, and grandparents, they are the most targeted age group for scams.

You can contact Det. Thorne on Facebook or follow @DetThorneBPD on Twitter.

Find more scam prevention tips on our website.

Contact: Boise Police Media Relations

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