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Slam the Scam

Keel Point

March 6, 2024

According to the Federal Trade Commission, consumers reported losing more than $10 billion to fraud in 2023, with the majority of losses from victims aged 60 and older.1 Since most fraud goes unreported, often because the victims are embarrassed, the actual number is likely much higher.

How can you protect yourself?

As the world becomes increasingly digital, scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated. To raise awareness of scams and help combat fraud, the Senate passed a bipartisan resolution in March of 2023 to hold a “Slam the Scam” awareness campaign each year during National Consumer Protection Week to help keep your assets and identity safe. [Read More]

Common scams

Scammers look for targets online, via phone, email, or text. They may pretend to be with one of your financial institutions or with a government agency requesting account information or payment to resolve an issue. They will typically pressure you to act quickly, asking for a gift card, prepaid debit card, wire transfer, cryptocurrency, or other hard-to-trace payment.2

In addition, senior citizens lose millions of dollars each year to Social Security fraud3 where someone pretending to be with the Social Security Administration threatens to terminate your benefits unless you pay. A scammer might say they’re with the IRS and demand immediate payment for delinquent taxes or that they are with Medicare and ask for your Medicare number so you can get a new card.4 Many unsuspecting seniors also fall prey to “Grandparent” scams in which a con artist sends an email pretending to be a grandchild in trouble and in need of immediate emergency funds (with a plea not to tell mom or dad).

Ways to avoid a scam

If you receive a phone call or suspicious email, hang up and do not click on links or attachments. Never provide your personal information to anyone who unexpectedly contacts you. When in doubt, call the institution back on a known, public number. A government agency will never call, email, or text you and ask for money. If you receive this type of communication, it is a scam, and you should immediately disengage.

If you have any questions or concerns about your money or feel you may have received a suspicious communication, please reach out to your Keel Point team for guidance and report any scams to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

 

 

1 As National Fraud Losses Top $10 Billion in 2023, FTC Steps up Efforts to Protect the Public, Federal Trade Commission Press Release, February 9, 2024

2 SCAM ALERT, Social Security Administration, Publication No. 05-10597, January 2024

3 U.S. Senate Passes Resolution in Support of Slam the Scam Day, Press Release, March 9, 2023

4 Scammers Impersonate the Government, Federal Trade Commission

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