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Watch Out for Sweepstakes Scams Targeting Elderly

Sweepstakes scams are some of the most popular, and elderly are frequently the targets of such scams. The AARP estimates that the elderly lose billions of dollars every year because of scams. If you provide elder care in Tracy for a family member, you can help protect him or her by watching for the following warning signs of a scam and educating your loved one as well.

1. Payment is required to claim the prize
No legitimate sweepstakes will ask a winner to pay fees to get the prize or participate. If your loved one is asked to pay service fees, insurance, handling charges, or any upfront charges, you’re likely dealing with a scam.

2. The notice comes from a free email account
It’s unlikely that any legitimate sweepstakes will send a prize notification from a free email service like Gmail or Yahoo instead of using an official, company email account.

3. Your loved one can’t remember entering
Your loved one can’t win a contest or sweepstakes he or she never entered. Double-check by calling the phone number for the sweepstakes sponsor to verify the winnings. Make sure you look up the number, don’t call the phone number from the email. You can also encourage your loved one to keep track of the sweepstakes he or she enters.

4. A check came with the notice
Many scam artists send a counterfeit check along with the fake win notification in the mail. Make sure your loved one does not cash these counterfeit checks, as it’s a crime and he or she will likely be on the hook for large fines.

5. Pressure to act quickly
Scam artists will pressure “winners” to act quickly because they want to get money or important account information before seniors realize they’re becoming a victim. If your loved one is pressured to act quickly, be suspicious.

6. Credit card or bank info is requested
A legitimate sweepstakes will never require your credit card or bank information. They will not need to withdraw money from your account or verify your information with your credit card number. A legitimate sweepstakes will require no more than a social security number.

Learn more about senior safety from the dedicated staff at Home Care Assistance in Tracy, CA. As a leading provider of stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care in Tracy, we’re changing the way the world ages one client at a time. To find out how our in-home care services can promote a happy, healthy, safe lifestyle for your loved one, give us a call at (209) 650-8500 and speak with a friendly Care Manager today!