In an April 7, 2020 blog post, the Federal Trade Commission warns senior citizens to be wary of scammers pretending to offer help during the COVID-19 crisis. Many older adults are particularly isolated right now because of the coronavirus. Scammers know this and they prey on that fact. Do you or someone you know need help with errands because of being quarantined? If so, you need to know about this nasty scam.
This swindle involves the phony offer help out with errands. If you’re an older adult isolated at home right now, you might need help getting groceries, medications, and other essential supplies. That’s understandable. But, be very suspicious of someone you don’t know offering to lend a hand. These would be helpers pretend to be available to assist with shopping. Then, once you’ve handed over your money, you’ll never see your money or these crooks again.
It’s much better to reach out to family, a trusted friend or neighbors – someone you know. Or, you can use a delivery service. But only use an established, recognized company. Or, you could just directly order from a store or vendor. Many grocery stores and pharmacies have made contactless delivery available because of the situation we’re in. You can also try to order what you need online. But again be sure you know who you’re buying from. Disreputable online sellers will claim to have products that are in high demand when they don’t.
If you don’t know where to turn to and you need help, take a look at a website provided as a public service by the U.S. Administration on Aging called the Eldercare Locator (www.eldercare.acl.gov) a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, can connect you to services for older adults and their families. If you’re not computer savvy you can also call them directly at (800) 677-1116.