Seniors urged to beware of fraud in age of coronavirus

March 29, 2020

When crises come, good people respond. There are hundreds of examples of friends and neighbors going the extra mile to see to it that community elders and schoolchildren are having meals prepared and delivered so no one goes hungry.

Those who commit fraud are known to appear at times like this as well. While seniors are particularly vulnerable, these predators will take advantage and strike anywhere. During the COVID 19 outbreak, Seniors Helping Seniors In-Home Care Services wants to remind everyone that scam artists are criminals.

Seniors should stay alert and be careful not to fall victim to scams. Seniors are often targeted because they may be unaware of the tricks scam artists use. Seniors are more inclined to use postal mail, and they are generous and trusting.

Scammers might tell seniors they are the winner of a contest they did not actually enter, or say a loved one is stranded and in need of money to get home, or that a grandchild has been arrested and his lawyer wants to be paid in Walmart gift cards.

Scammers often promise to wire money for a work-from-home job. They might tell the senior they are a relative of royalty in a country no one can find on a map. A senior might be told they owe money on a loan and if not paid they will be arrested for nonpayment.

No charity needs someone’s Social Security number to accept a donation, although that’s what a scammer might say.

To be safe, always ask a business for written documentation. Better yet, if people don’t recognize a calling number with digits quite similar to their own phone number, they don’t need to answer. Senior citizens can also block these calls using software/call-blocking apps or service from their phone provider, and report any unwanted or illegal calls to the Federal Trade Commission. If people do find themselves on a call with a scammer, they should hang up and not talk with that caller.

Seniors also might receive offers for free diabetes testing equipment, back braces, arthritis mediations and so forth. Solicitors pretend they are calling directly from Medicare, which does not call  or ask for a Social Security number.

No one is going to legitimately call a senior and offer a free coronavirus testing kit. All coronavirus testing requires a doctor’s order based on review of current medical condition.

Seniors Helping Seniors In-Home Care Services wants community members to stay safe, aware and alert to fraud. For more information, go to or call 302-858-7330.


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