Expert Pitch
Virginia Tech

6 tips for older adults to avoid scams brought on by COVID-19

25-Mar-2020 1:15 PM EDT, by Virginia Tech

The uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus and the need for social distancing provide a playground for fraudulent telemarketers and internet scammers.

Older individuals are especially vulnerable to financial exploitation at the hands of others, says Karen Roberto, a Virginia Tech expert in gerontology (the study of old age and the process of aging).

“Elder financial abuse costs older Americans more than three billion dollars annually, but we know the losses to elderly victims extend far beyond dollars and cents,” Roberto says. “Elder financial abuse and exploitation endangers the health and well-being of older adults and invariably, their quality of life.”

[Related: Expert in aging offers tips for interacting with older family and friends during COVID-19 spread]

Roberto offers  these tips for older adults to protect themselves from becoming a victim, particularly during this global pandemic:

  • Stay engaged with others: “Socialize — remotely — with family members and friends. Isolation can lead to loneliness, depression, and make you more vulnerable to financial abuse or exploitation.”

  • Beware of telephone solicitations: “Billions of dollars are lost each year because of fraudulent telemarketers. You are not being rude by hanging up when a solicitor calls.” Use caller ID to screen your calls, and if you are not familiar with a number or name, don’t answer and don’t return messages from persons unfamiliar to you. Remember, programs and services like Social Security, Medicare, and local police will not call you asking for personal information.

  • Just hang up: “If you find yourself on a call with someone you don’t know or who is trying to sell food or paper products to help meet your needs during this pandemic, don’t engage in the conversation. Just hang up.”

  • Protect your passwords: This includes ATMs and online or telephone transactions with a bank, credit card carrier, or any company with whom you do business. Do not give your passwords to anyone.

  • Do not share personal information: Whether on the internet, a phone call, or in person, never give out personal information such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, your date of birth, or Social Security and Medicare numbers, to unfamiliar companies or unknown persons.

  • Tell someone: If you believe you are a victim or near-victim of financial abuse and exploitation, do not be afraid or embarrassed to discuss your concerns with someone you trust, such as another family member, clergyman, or bank manager. “You are not alone. The situation could become worse if you do nothing.”

[More: Find additional Virginia Tech expertise related to COVID-19 here.]

About Roberto

Karen Roberto is a Virginia Tech University Distinguished Professor, senior fellow at the Virginia Tech Center for Gerontology, and founding director of the Virginia Tech Institute for Society, Culture and Environment. Among other research areas, she focuses specifically on the psychosocial aspects of aging, health and relationships in later life, family caregiving and Alzheimer’s disease/dementia, rural aging, and elder abuse and neglect. See her bio

Schedule an interview

To set up an interview, email Jordan Fifer or call 540-231-6997.

Our studio

Finding reliable experts for media interviews is especially important during this difficult time. Virginia Tech's television and radio studios can broadcast live HD audio and video to networks, news outlets, and affiliates interviewing Virginia Tech faculty and staff. The university does not charge for use of its studios. Video is transmitted by LTN Global Communications; Skype, FaceTime, or similar products; or file sharing (Dropbox, Google Drive, We-Transfer, etc.). Radio interviews can be transmitted by ISDN, Comrex, phone, smartphone recording, or file sharing. 




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5575
Released: 6-May-2021 4:20 PM EDT
How to Win Over Vaccine Skeptics: Live Expert Panel for May 20, 3pm ET
Newswise

How to Win Over Vaccine Skeptics: Live Expert Panel for May 20, 3pm ET

Released: 6-May-2021 2:15 PM EDT
Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19
Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC Alliance)

After the Most Comprehensive Review to Date, a Panel of Leading Medical Experts Conclude that Ivermectin Should be Systematically and Globally Adopted for the Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19

Released: 6-May-2021 2:10 PM EDT
儿童同样面临COVID-19的长期影响
Mayo Clinic

COVID-19感染可能对部分儿童和青少年,以及成人的健康产生长期影响。虽然大多数COVID-19儿童感染者症状轻微或根本没有症状,但对于任何COVID-19感染者而言,即使病情轻微或没有症状,感染也可能产生长期影响。

Newswise: CSUCIVaxClinic4-29-21.JPG
Released: 6-May-2021 2:05 PM EDT
CSU Expands Vaccine Availability with New Partnerships
California State University (CSU) Chancellor's Office

Many CSU campuses now offer even more options for students and employees to get their COVID-19 shots, thanks to unique partnerships with national pharmacies and local hospitals.

Released: 6-May-2021 1:50 PM EDT
الأطفال أيضًا يواجهون آثارًا طويلة المدى لفيروس كورونا المستجد (كوفيد-19)
Mayo Clinic

مدينة روتشستر، ولاية مينيسوتا ― تؤثر الآثار طويلة المدى لعدوى فيروس كورونا المستجد (كوفيد-19) على صحة بعض الأطفال والمراهقين، وكذا البالغين. في حين أن معظم الأطفال المصابين بعدوى فيروس كورونا المستجد (كوفيد-19) يعانون من أعراض خفيفة أو لا تظهر عليهم أي أعراض على الإطلاق، فإن أي شخص أصيب بفيروس كورونا المستجد (كوفيد-19) - حتى لو كان المرض خفيفًا أو لم تظهر عليه أعراض - قد يُصاب بآثار طويلة المدى.

Released: 6-May-2021 1:35 PM EDT
As crianças também enfrentam efeitos de longo prazo da COVID-19
Mayo Clinic

Os efeitos de longo prazo da infecção por COVID-19 estão afetando a saúde de algumas crianças e adolescentes, bem como de adultos. Embora a maioria das crianças com infecção por COVID-19 tenha sintomas leves ou nenhum sintoma, qualquer pessoa que teve COVID-19, mesmo se leve ou sem sintomas, pode ter efeitos de longo prazo.

Newswise: Retired Nurse Returns to the Front Lines
Released: 6-May-2021 1:25 PM EDT
Retired Nurse Returns to the Front Lines
Rush University Medical Center

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Martha Kuhr, RN, came out of retirement to care for some of Rush University Medical Center's most severe COVID-19 patients in the CVICU.

Released: 6-May-2021 12:40 PM EDT
Achieving high COVID-19 vaccine coverage levels by summer can prevent millions of cases
CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy

With around 30 percent of the U.S. population now fully vaccinated, the rate of daily vaccinations has started to slow, raising concerns that greater efforts and investments may be needed to reach higher coverage levels.

Released: 6-May-2021 12:30 PM EDT
Los niños también enfrentan los efectos a largo plazo de la COVID-19
Mayo Clinic

Los efectos a largo plazo de la infección por COVID-19 están repercutiendo en la salud de algunos niños y adolescentes, además de los adultos. Si bien la mayoría de los niños con infección por COVID-19 tienen síntomas leves o no tienen síntomas en absoluto, cualquier persona que haya tenido COVID-19 (incluso si la enfermedad fue leve o no tuvieron síntomas) puede tener efectos a largo plazo.


Showing results

110 of 5575

close
2.12339