Elderly Scams Explode in COVID-19

As daily money managers, we are trusted to keep an eye on what issues might arise for our elderly and the families who love them. Recently, there has been a major uptick in scams involving COVID-19 and issues surrounding seniors and health. It seems that any national, let alone world, disaster brings out the worst of the scammers who want to take advantage of our beloved elders.

It’s been widely reported that those over 65 are the most vulnerable to the virus. For many, these are fearful time full of anxiety and feelings of helplessness. Scammers use this fear against them.

The Federal Trade Commission is trying to stay ahead of the issue with a series of blogs surrounding the Coronavirus. We encourage you and your loved ones to read how scammers are setting up websites to sell bogus products and sending phishing emails, text, and social media posts as a way to swindle us out of our money or give away our personal information. 

Cleverly written and designed to offer safety and prevention, they offer links as “bait” and contain malicious email attachments. We advise that all our DLMM families read the FTC blogs and subscribe to their email updates until this crisis is behind us. Go to the FTC Consumer Information blog here.

If you or a loved one have clicked on a phishing email, read this FTC article and follow their advice. It shows you what a phishing email may look like and what to do if you responded to a phishing attack and are concerned that your identity might have been compromised. Our internal rule is that if you do not know the sender, do not click on any attachments or links. If you get an email from the IRS, it is spam. They will send you an actual letter in the mail. If you are not expecting a package delivery, do not click on any links within the email. If necessary, make a phone call to a known telephone number you have used previously to confirm. And most importantly, delete the email!

Know that we are committed to helping our clients feel safe in these uncertain times. We are but a phone call away if you have any questions about what steps we are taking to assure that our clients’ daily money management and accounting practices are strong and secure.

What Coronavirus Can Teach Us

Everyone has had their own personal experiences with the COVID-19 virus that raged worldwide in 2020. This month, of the 330,000,000 United States population, approximately 460,000 or 1.2% of the population (as of this writing) have contracted the virus. About 2% of those have died from complications caused by the virus. 

While many were sick and too many died, no one was left untouched by its fury. What have we learned? What are the takeaways for the Coronavirus Pandemic generation? What will we tell our grandchildren? How has it changed our habits and thinking?

We’ve learned to respect data

We learned that data is a more effective communicator than personal opinions and emotions. It was the data that helped nations all over the world to make decisions, though perhaps in some cases we did not react quickly enough.

We learned that we really need one another

Science has always taught that we humans have a deep need to be around other people. A homeless man seen walking painfully down an empty street in NYC, when asked if he needed money for food or medicine, replied simply, “nope, just lonely.” We are social beings, we need one another.

We learned to love technology

From the TV news reports, to Chromebook computers handed out for homebound school kids, to FaceTime and Zoom, we stayed connected. Our devices held us together, allowed students to keep learning, educators teaching, broadcasters reporting, and families conferencing online. Live streaming and binge watching were never as popular. Technology united us.

We learned to wash our hands

We’ve always known that soap removes dirt, grime, and grease, but now we know it also destroys some bacteria, and especially viruses — as long as we wash vigorously for at least 20 seconds or as long as it takes to sing a whole verse of Happy Birthday. 

We learned that life will never be the same again

Not in our lifetime has a single worldwide event touched so many of us. Even World Wars were fought in far-off places by only a few, economic depressions recovered, dictators came and went, and even though we live in the nuclear age, we have yet to blow ourselves up.

When we grow old we will tell our grandchildren about a tiny virus no one could see, feel or touch; that brought business to its knees, shattered world economies, and shuttered the windows of socialization. Then we will tell them about our bravery, determination, and realization that we really need one another. We’ll talk about the heroes who found ways for us to survive and ultimately we’ll talk about the value of compassion, and likely…progress.