The Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs in the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office is warning seniors of scams aimed at stealing personal information and money.
DCA reports in a news release that some of these scams reemerge annually around the holidays, and scams have been on the rise due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
They also warn that as many people will be separated from family members dude to the pandemic that seniors are especially vulnerable to these scams this holiday season.
Toward the end of the year, certain scams reemerge. Especially in this time of COVID-19, while many Tennesseans may be separated from family, DCA is reminding both seniors and caregivers to be careful about how they share sensitive, personal information. Below is information about common scams.
DCA is specifically warning of four types of scams that are often seen around the holidays.
Online Purchase Scams happen most often using fake websites aimed at enticing consumers with popular products at low prices.
DCA recommends that consumers research businesses and confirm the seller's physical location before making a purchase.
Shoppers should also consider their payment methods when shopping online, keeping in mind that credit cards provide fraud protection to help consumers dispute charges for items that were not received.
Medicare Enrollment Scams involve callers claiming to be "Medicare Advisors" who may attempt to steal personal information and money from victims.
According to DCA, an actual Medicare representative will only call someone who is already a member of a Medicare plan and that representative would already know a person's member number. DCA advises that people should never give out, verify or correct Medicare numbers for any caller.
Gift Card Scams often happen when imposters call victims with a fake emergency and urge victims to buy popular gift cards such as iTunes, Google Play or Amazon and then demand the gift card number and PIN on the back of the card. That’s all they need to steal the money from victims.
Grandparent Scams involve scammers who pose as distressed grandchildren or a law enforcement agents and demand large amounts of money to be sent through wire transfers or through the purchasing of gift cards.
The AG's Office has more information about other ongoing scams targeting Tennesseans here,