Website Offers Help For Seniors To Avoid Scams

SIOUX FALLS- With tax season in full swing, so are tax scams. Many times, the victims of these scams are senior citizens. But now, thanks to an in-home care service, seniors have something to turn to to prevent potential scams from happening to them.

“I’ve heard a lot of different stories from families where mom and dad have been taken advantage of,” said Owner of Home Instead Senior Care Jason Valder.

Jason Valder with Home Instead Senior Care, hears of scams taking place all year long. This time of year, they see a lot of tax and IRS scams surface.

Valder said, “These are really the new crimes of the century.”

Valder say seniors are more vulnerable because they’re usually at home to answer the door and phone calls, they’re more trusting, and have money built up.

“Just using different scare tactics and making them believe they haven’t paid their taxes or there’s penalties because they were late, whatever they can do to you know prey upon that vulnerability,” said Valder.

Sioux Falls Police say once the money has been sent, there’s little chance of ever getting it back.

“They’ll send the money and then do the checking and find out that it’s a scam afterwards but once that happens it’s too late,” said Sioux Falls Police Officer Sam Clemens. “Sometimes they realize it on their own, sometimes it’s others that help them out and tell them it’s a scam.”

Now there’s another resource that seniors can turn to.

Valder said, “The actual site is called ProtectSeniorsOnline.com.”

The website, created by Home Instead, shows seniors what scams look like and offers tips on how to stay away from them.

“It gives you a scenario and asks you to click no or yes, whether you see some red flags with that scenario,” Valder said.

You may ask-why a website? Valder says about 97 percent of seniors go online once a week.

While there typically isn’t much police can do for victims, they still want to encourage people to report scams so they can warn others.

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