IBC Bank Offers Tips to Help Seniors Avoid Scams in the Digital Age
IBC Bank wants to remind consumers that it is important to be aware and diligent when banking, making purchases or conducting other financial transactions online. According to the FTC report "Protecting Older Consumers 2018-2019," older adults are less likely to file complaints when they are victims of fraud, but tend to lose more money than younger consumers. According to the Senate Special Committee on Aging, scammers cheat older adults out of approximately $2.9 billion annually.
In conjunction with Older Americans Month, IBC Bank is sharing tips to help older adults avoid scams in the digital age.
Check the source. According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the most common impersonation scam involves scammers claiming to be IRS representatives. Remember, the IRS will never call to demand immediate payment or demand you pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount you owe. If in doubt, hang up and find a direct number to the IRS to inquire about the call you received.
Trust, but verify. If you're wondering if a business or offer is legitimate, search online for the contact information (name, email, phone number, address) and the proposed offer. Others may have posted information online about individuals and businesses trying to run scams.
Don't assume safety. Don't assume a website is safe just because it is formatted as "https." It can be beneficial to install an antivirus program on your device that will alert you to any fraudulent websites.
Guard your financial information. If you receive an email or pop-up ad asking for your account numbers, credit card numbers, wire transfers or related personal information, do not respond. If you feel a request is legitimate, call the person or organization requesting the information to confirm. Also, beware of advertisements or emails that ask you to download attachments. Pop-up ads and downloads are regularly used by perpetrators to spread malicious software.
Consumers who believe they may have been scammed or who need to verify a purchase on their debit or credit card should contact their local bank immediately. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about financial best practices and other resources offered by IBC Bank. For information on opening a free checking account and our other products and services, visit www.ibc.com.