5 Ways Cyberthieves Steal From Holiday Shoppers — And How to Stop Them​

(AARP) Searching online for a bargain or a hard-to-find holiday gift? Hordes of shoppers are and, as the FBI tells it, cybercriminals eager to rip them off are working harder than Santa’s elves in December. Read On

Combatting Fraud and Other Consumer Problems in Black Communities

(FTC) A recent FTC staff report shows what we’ve known for some time — that different communities report to the FTC about different concerns. Yesterday, we told you about how fraud affects the Latino communityRead On

Caregivers Can Learn to Spot Health Scams

(FTC) Scammers know that being a caregiver is stressful. In fact, dishonest companies will say almost anything to get you to buy their product or service. As part of National Family Caregivers Month, here are steps to take before you buy any health product or service – for yourself or someone else. Read On

BBB Scam Alert: Tracking code trick costs online shoppers

(BBB) BBB Scam Tracker has received numerous reports about shipping tricks that scammers use to steal from online shoppers. The con artists are exploiting PayPal’s polices by delivering incorrect items and using stolen tracking numbers. Read On

Avoiding A Money Mule Scam

(FTC) Scammers are looking for people to help them move stolen money. They visit online dating, job search, and social media sites, create fake stories, and make up reasons to send you money, usually by check or Bitcoin. Then they tell you to send that money to someone else by using gift cards or wire transfers. But they never say the money is stolen, the stories are lies, or — if you sent the money — you might be acting as what law enforcement calls a money mule. Read On

Seniors Tricked into Buying Policies

(SMP) Sandy Morales from the California Senior Medicare Patrol explained that a misleading TV commercial enticed seniors with new benefits that include dental, vision, transportation, and even Social Security money; however, beneficiaries who called for information were “erroneously enrolled into a plan that they never gave permission to enroll into.” Read On

Chase customer loses total of $7,000 in Zelle scam: Here’s what you need to know.

(ABC News) LAFAYETTE, Calif. (KGO) — We’ve been reporting about a widespread scam using Zelle to steal from Bank of America customers.

Now criminals are widening their net, targeting customers of other banks as well, tricking them into sending them money through Zelle. Read On

Technology Tools to Help Guard Against Elder Financial Abuse

(AARP) As people get on in years and perhaps experience cognitive decline, they may become vulnerable to elder financial exploitation: theft or fraud perpetrated by someone they know, even someone close to them. It may be a shady lawyer, accountant, caregiver or family member who drains their bank accounts, keeps their benefits checks or buys extra groceries or merchandise for themselves while running errands on the person’s behalf. Read On

Looking for a New Job? Watch out for Scams!

(FTC) If you’re looking for a way to make extra money, searching online can be a good start. But scammers are there, too, and post fake job ads designed to trick you into sharing personal information or sending money in exchange for the promise of a job…that doesn’t exist. Read On

Consequences High for Medicare Fraud, Errors, or Abuse

(SMP) Medicare loses about $60 billion annually because of fraud, errors, and abuse. But the real consequences are impossible to measure. People lose their own money, and their medical records can be compromised. Read an article, which includes tips from the SMP, on the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) website.

Fake Vaccine Surveys Hit Text, Email

(SMP) This broadcast news story shows an example of a vaccine survey that offers values of $50, $90, and $100. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warn that the scammers want your credit card or bank information to claim your “free” prize. Read a story and watch a video from CBS17.

BBB Tip: How to Spot and Avoid Identity Theft

(BBB) Scams are designed to either steal your money, or steal your identity in order to steal your money later. Scammers have all kinds of techniques to collect personally identifiable information (PII). Once they have it, they can effectively become you, using your identity to open accounts, file taxes, or obtain medical coverage. Read On

What Are People Reporting at

(FTC) In the past 18 years of the National Do Not Call Registry, those of you signed up for the registry (244 million phone numbers right now) have reported millions upon millions of unwanted sales calls over the years. Here’s a quick look at what you’ve reported this year at DoNotCall.govabout the calls you’re getting: Read On

Fraud by a Fiduciary Can Be Especially Costly

(AARP) What to do if you suspect a financial or legal professional is misusing a loved one’s money? From 2012 to 2019, a former Belmont County, Ohio, lawyer and elected official named Mark Alan Thomas served as power of attorney for an older client, a woman with dementia living in a long-term care facility. Read On

Woman Targeted in ‘Gold Chip’ Card Scam

(SMP) A Milwaukee woman received a call from a man claiming to be from Medicare and offering a new Medicare card with a gold chip; when he couldn’t spell her name right, she hung up. Medicare will not call asking for personal information or offering a new card. Read a story and watch a video from WTMJ-TV. Report suspicious calls like this to your local Senior Medicare Patrol.

BBB Scam Alert: As Holiday Shopping Fairs Go Virtual, Scammers Cash In

(BBB) Last year, many local in-person events, such as popup holiday markets or craft fairs, moved online. This holiday shopping season, some event organizers are continuing to play it safe and keep things virtual. This means scammers can reuse last year’s trick – creating phony copycat events that charge for admission and steal your credit card information. Read On

How to Spot and Avoid Common Healthcare Scams

(FTC) As a caregiver for a family member with special health needs, you know that shopping, making meals, or just regularly spending time with someone who can’t get out much can profoundly improve their quality of life. Read On

What You Can Do to Prevent Caregiver Fraud

(AARP) As an expert on banking and fraud with AARP’s Public Policy Institute, Jilenne Gunther works daily on programs and policies to stop financial exploitation of older adults. But the issue is personal for her, too. Read On

Learn More about preventing, detecting and reporting fraud and about the latest healthcare scams, by requesting an educational presentation for your group. Visit our Contact Page and complete the form to schedule a presentation.

The Senior Medicare Patrol Project is supported by Grant #90-MP-0040/01 from the Administration on Aging, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington D.C. 20201