The BBB is warning consumers about a scam targeting seniors.
A new scam is targeting seniors, preying on fears that they could lose Social Security benefits. Seniors are scared into donating to this fake cause and providing their personal information, the Better Business Bureau warned Friday.
Seniors across the country are receiving letters in the mail asking for a donation of $16.45 to fund the work of a group called the National Council for Survivors.
The letters claim Congress is attempting to abolish Social Security, and this group is working to save the benefits.
They are allegedly mailing referendum ballots to every senior citizen in the country, allowing them to vote to keep the government program.
The BBB is warning people not to donate to any group making such claims.
If you send money, you will be out $16.45. Victims who fill out the form to make a credit card donation, open themselves up to ID theft and additional fraudulent charges. As usual, the scam varies slightly in different reports. The name of the advocacy group often changes and so does the exact language used.
How to spot this phishing scam:
Be wary if you are being asked to act immediately. Scammers typically try to push you into action before you have had time to think.
Don’t share your credit card information. Paying by credit card is typically a great way to protect yourself when purchasing online. But sending your name, address and credit card information to scammers opens yourself up to ID theft and other cons.
If it seems too outlandish to be true, it probably is: Many cons snare victims by offering deals too good to be true. But some, like this, scare targets into taking action. Either way, use common sense and a quick web search.
Know your government: In the United States, referendums are not held on the national level and differ from state to state. Outside organizations do not pay for referendum ballots to be sent to voters.