Friday February 23, 2024
Protect Yourself from AI Senior Scams
Artificial intelligence (AI) is advancing rapidly and will have dramatic effects on society. While AI has potential benefits in many areas including healthcare and education, there are also potential drawbacks. Haywood Talcove, chief executive of a major cybersecurity organization, cautions seniors that new AI capabilities are being used for romance scams, ransom efforts and IRS or government collection scams.
Talcove stated, "You have all of these people building this technology for good and they are working really, really hard. And you have another group working equally hard at applying their craft on the bad side." The bad actors use AI to enhance their scams and victimize seniors. Many scams have taken millions of dollars from seniors who did not protect themselves from romance scams, requests for ransom or false claims that they owe payments to the IRS.
While most financial abuse of elders is not reported, AARP estimates that individuals over age 60 lose more than $28 billion per year through elder exploitation. Approximately three-fourths of that loss is caused by an individual personally known to the senior but the other types of scams may involve up to $8 billion per year.
There are several practical tips for protecting yourself. If you receive a ransom phone call from someone claiming to be a relative, ask for specific identifying marks on their person or a special family password. Note that the IRS or other government agencies do not request payments through phone calls or email.
An excellent protection method is for a senior to have a trusted family member who will co-manage his or her accounts. If the senior is contacted by an individual requesting funds, he or she may then discuss the request with the family member. This is an excellent way to protect a senior person.
Finally, seniors are urged to have their Social Security or government checks directly deposited in bank accounts. They should not give any personal information over the phone to an unknown person. If a request for funds is made, ask the individual to send you a written request.
Published June 16, 2023