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Eden and Mark (last names withheld) lost their whole life savings to a con artist a year ago. "We lost every penny we earned from our business. The savings we had amassed over the course of our 38 years of marriage were all snatched from us”, Eden told California news outlets.
It's tragic and terrifying, but what just happened? Eden's computer urgently displayed a pop-up warning about a virus and instructed her to call "Microsoft." She was informed that her PC had a "terrible problem" when she called the number.
The man who answered the phone, who was not from Microsoft, advised her to transfer her money to secure government accounts because the issue was related to identity theft.
She obliged, sending thieves $564,000 in five wire transfers.
It can be tempting to criticize these events after they have happened, but con artists are skilled at coming across as sincere, reliable, and convincing. Very smart people have been swindled and lost significant amounts of money.
Know and understand their methods
It's important to be aware of the primary scams that are currently being used to defraud elders. Understand these methods in order to protect yourself and your loved ones:
There are steps we can take to fight back and keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.