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I know, 60-year-olds. You’re not old. In fact, we’ve found that, when people think “old,” they think of someone about 10 years older than they are right now. But, because we’ve been warned about the effects of the Coronavirus on people 60+, listen up. Because scammers follow the headlines and know you might have this on your mind.

Right now, scammers are scuttling out of their dark corners to offer false hope (Home test kits! A cure!) and use fear (Your Social Security number is about to be revoked! Your loved one is in trouble!) – all to get your money or information. (None of those things are real, by the way.) They’re asking for your bank routing number to “help” you get your relief money – which is not how you’ll get it, by the way. They’re sending fake emails that look real, but those fake CDC or World Health Organization emails are trying to steal your personal information – or, if you click a link, put malware on your computer, tablet, or phone. Scammers are calling (and calling…and calling…), using illegal robocalls to pitch you the latest scammy thing. They’re texting, and they’re all over social media.

So, while you’re washing your hands and working to stay safe, here are a few ways you can help protect yourself – and those you love – from scammers.

  • Don’t be rushed. Whatever the call, email, text, or social media post is about, remember that scammers try to rush you. Legit people don’t.
  • Check it out. Before you act on something or share it – stop. Do some research. Do the facts back up the story?
  • Pass it on. If you get offered something great, or you’re worried about something alarming: talk to someone you trust before you act. What do they think?
  • Keep in touch with the FTC. Sign up for Consumer Alerts to help spot scams: ftc.gov/subscribe. And watch for the latest at ftc.gov/coronavirus.
  • Report scams to the FTC. Go to ftc.gov/complaint. Your report can help us shut the scammers down.

Want to help even more? Pass this post on. Tell a friend. And hey, let’s be careful out there.

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25 Comments


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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

auranelo
April 09, 2020
Recibí un mensaje de texto donde ofrecían una ayuda humanitaria debido a la pandemia, proveniente de la ONU relacionada con una cesta de alimentos valorada entre 900 a 1400$. Será esto una estafa?
rmendez
April 09, 2020

In reply to by auranelo

Podría ser una estafa. Si le das click al enlace puedes bajar un viru a tu computadora o si le das información puedes caer en una lista y te siguen llamando y enviando textos sospechosos. Es mejor ignorarlo y borrar el texto. Puedes poner una queja en www.ftc.gov/queja y someter un screenshot del texto.

Hector Gar
April 30, 2020
Les estoy muy pero muy agradecido por toda la valiosa información que recibió de consumidor.ftc.gov Tengo 62 años y toda esta información me sirve mucho Los felicito por su fantástico trabajo Best regards Hector Garcia
Winner
March 30, 2020
Thank you always.
Nanna1954
March 31, 2020
What’s hard is when they try to scam my mother who has memory issues and she sure doesn’t understand scam calls!
David
March 31, 2020
As a security awareness professional, I wanted to let you know I think you folks are doing a terrific job! Am following and sharing many of your articles within my organization. Keep up the good work.
thebushman
March 31, 2020
And even with a crisis going on these scammers are still calling..and now are using the virus as ways to steel money from us
Mightymouse53
March 31, 2020
Thanks for the update and the information, I appreciate all the truthful information I can receive. I am 66 years young, going on 36 years old. Age may be just a number but wisdom comes from the truth, and the knowledge of how to use it.....PERIOD Loliving the dream always positive always optimistic
HUGH GAUTIER
March 31, 2020
Age depends on whether or not the person stays active using one's brain for stimulus. I'm in my mid-70s and still multi-task. If something sounds fishy, I'm not afraid to use the server to get my email messages. If it sounds too good to be true, I'll highlight the message and look at the ORIGINAL, see where it was originally sent from, all of the way down to the IP Addresses. They tell lots of things, especially what country the message came from. Yeah, I know we aren't supposed to know this kind of information, but I do. So your OLD fly's out the window as far as that is concerned.
DR
March 31, 2020
Great advice, but especially helpful now, considering the circumstances we are all living in. Thank You.
Don't use your…
March 31, 2020
It occurred to me, while reading this, that it's time to stop calling these people spammers. Instead call them what they really are, criminals.
wizard75
March 31, 2020
Yet another fan of "NYPD BLUE"?
Joelh
March 31, 2020
Ms Leach, thank you for your timely and helpful suggestions. You are 100% correct: even though I am older than dirt at 70, I do think of people who are in their 80s as being really old.
Laurel
April 01, 2020

In reply to by Joelh

And at 81, I think of 95 as being old but may change my mind when I get there. I walk 40 -50 minutes every day - at a good clip and up and down hills. Exercise can do amazing things for the body.
titilay
March 31, 2020
Scammers always think 60+ are stupid, cannot think straight. Thank you FTC for keeping us on our toes. If it doesn't sound wright, looks too good, something ain't wright. Always double check, slow before you act.
JRCD
March 31, 2020
My daughter got a email from Amazon as per her ordered .It told unless she update her personal information on email , her order will not be processed .My daughter put a Bogus email address and it went through ,it was asking for her social security and personal information . I told her it was a scam , as Amazon doesn’t sent email like that .
Elspeth McLeavy
March 31, 2020
I have heard the scammers are coming out of the woodwork. Today I got a phone call from NY, where I know no one. They left a voicemail, but I didn't open it. Thank you for this info.
TonyaGrace
March 31, 2020
Someone text me Sunday from what was supposed to be my friend on FB talking about the Dept. of Health and Human Services needed me to fill out a form so they could deliver some money to me that I don't have to pay back. The scammer said they got 100,000 directly deposited to their bank. Since I know the lady whose FB account had surly been hacked I asked the person to answer a personal question that my actual friend would know the answer. They dropped offline quicker than you can say, scammer! I was lucky that I caught it, but please be wise. Ask for a number and then call CDC or WHO and ask if that's one of their workers. It takes less time to do that than it does to repair the damage one of these crooks can do.
anwudgf
April 01, 2020
I urge everyone to be vigilant in conducting your personal business, especially in light of COVID-19 to those who are disabled and are our most vulnerable part of the population especially prone to such situations. Disabled Americans need to work together with the FTC in areas where there is a mission to prevent exploitation, both financially and socially. Peace out.
Scammers selli…
April 01, 2020
I got an email offering to sell me covid-19 masks. The picture in the ad showed a woman in scrubs, holding a vial that was marked coronavirus and wearing a mask. A second picture showed a man wearing a different kind of mask. The text was typical hard sell, protect yourself, click "here" to get your masks. You have to wonder how many frightened people, responded to the ad.
Marie
April 01, 2020
Thank you for doing a fantastic job in keeping everyone informed. Totally appreciated!
sew young
April 17, 2020
Your information is so timely. Thanks so much. I have a sister 6 years older than me. She has fallen prey to these sick people. I call them THIEVES. I have copied your information and emailed it to her. Your information was helpful to me. I already knew it but I was able to share it with my sister who has been caught up in the web for months. She refuses to believe she IS NOT going to get $85K. from a Government Grant. The scammer is even telling her he loves her (she lost her husband 2 years ago). And is building her a house in her dream location. So please be careful everyone. I hope this helps just one person.
Grammy
April 17, 2020
Thank you for reminding me. I have always been a rather gullible person and have run into a few scams in my life. But now with all that is going on, it's really important to know what to look out for.
StormeeT
April 18, 2020
Thanks for the awesome advice we are so stressed out at times, we might forget to think , in a situation mention it can be too easy to let our mental thinking down, again great advice
whenallelsefails
May 01, 2020
I just signed up for these updates and I read them daily. what brought me here was the bitcoin scam...scared me out of my mind literally. I always forward questionable emails to FBI.gov and hence the IRS site lead me here..Thank you for all you do. and yes. just ask my grandbabies who is old not the oldest...smiles and blessings to all.