It’s around five o’clock on Friday, you’re finally home from work and you’re exhausted. The phone rings. It’s someone who identifies herself as an employee of the cable company, saying there’s a problem with your service and she needs your account payment information and Social Security number to avoid a service interruption over the weekend. Oh, oh, you think, the game! The Sunday night movies! You give her the information she asks for and hang up. No service interruption, thank goodness!
But the next time you use your checking account, you find, to your dismay, that you have a much bigger problem. Scammers have emptied your account, using the information you gave the helpful “cable lady.”
This is only one of hundreds of scenarios scammers use late in the week, usually later in the day, and now more frequently using female callers. They know you are more vulnerable to scams when you are tired, and they have found by experience that you are also less suspicious of female callers. These tactics work with people of any age, but elders are especially vulnerable. During 2018, more than 24,000 elder financial abuse cases were reported by banks to the U.S. Treasury Department.*
Remember: Be wary of all calls asking you for private information, especially when you’re tired. Best rule to follow: Don’t EVER give out your private information to ANY caller unless you initiated the call yourself.