By Paul Hubbard
Michigan Attorney General is having community meetings with senior citizens in African American areas such as Pontiac and Detroit as well as around the state to make seniors aware of scammer’s techniques.
Also, a recent Toledo TV abc13 retirement report noted that in 2024 there will be in the United States more people 65 years old and older then any time in history. An elder fraud report in 2022 said seniors lose $3.1 billion annually in targeted scams. The University of Iowa Research found naturally occurring changes in the prefrontal cortex of the brain as we age make older people less skeptical and thus more susceptible to scammers.
India is a hot bed of call centers scams. Companies such as Microsoft and Dell outsource their customer services to India as do many others. This gives the scammers access to technology infrastructure and our personal data.
The scams we hear about are FBI, IRS, Social Security and bank accounts. The scams we don’t hear a lot about is the dark web. The dark web is a collection of Internet sites that you can’t find with a regular search engine and that people can visit anonymously.
According to Readers’ Digest the dark web houses passwords, protected medical and financial records, pages behind paywalls and cloud-based emails accounts such as gmail. It is perfectly legal to access the dark web according to Reader’s Digest. However, scammers use the dark web for illegal activities.
Getting scammed is dehumanizing on its own, but so will be the hours spent begging the customer service people for help. African Americans in particular have problems proving they were scammed and getting their money back.
Saturday Evening Post says to avoid scams don’t call unknown registries, don’t answer calls nor emails from people you don’t know, don’t answer computer screen pop ups or unknown texts. If your computer screen freezes, turn your computer off; then restart it.
Seniors let’s be skeptical and careful with unknown request for our personal information and our money.
Paul Hubbard MSW and President of Comfort Care Adult Day Care Services.