10 COVID-19 scams targeting the elderly
4. Home test kit scams. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared home diagnostic tests for COVID-19, scammers pose as Medicare representatives and ask for Social Security numbers in exchange for what they claim to be a free test kit. Some promise next day delivery. Do not believe it. Instead, check with your health care department to find a legitimate testing site.
5. Government payment scams. Government agencies will not ask you for cash, gift cards, bank transfers, or cryptocurrency payments.
6. Air filter scams. Scammers send emails, texts, calls and letters claiming they have air filters that will “remove COVID-19 from the air in your home.” The claim is false.
7. Charity scams. Any emergency or disaster leads to an increase in fraudulent charities, so do your homework before giving, especially if the demand arises on social media.
8. Shopping scams. Bad actors will offer you to go to the store for you or have another errand, but run away with your money without delivering the goods or completing the task. Instead of paying a stranger, enlist the help of a neighbor or trusted friend.
9. Package scams. Last fall, before the holidays, the number of text messages containing links to websites masquerading as legitimate delivery companies increased. The victims were asked for money or personal information for the delivery of bogus packages or merchandise they had never ordered.
10. Peer-to-peer (P2P) mobile payment scams. Be careful if you are asked for a quick digital payment. The Venmo app, for example, emphasizes that it is intended for use only between friends and other people they trust. The same applies to similar apps.