Scammers take advantage of the pandemic to target the elderly

New Yorkers are being warned about predators looking for an easy target during the coronavirus pandemic.

News 12 Staff

Apr 29, 2020, 8:00 PM

Updated 1,480 days ago

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New Yorkers are being warned about predators looking for an easy target during the coronavirus pandemic. Officials say many of the current scams are preying on the elderly. 
Bill Stanton has been a security and safety expert for more than 30 years. He says these stressful times are a prime time for predators. 
“The predators are counting on is that you're home alone. You may be desperate, your awareness may be lower,” says Stanton. 
He says often their target is the elderly. “They will prey on the elderly's good nature because they don't go out as much, so when a phone call comes in they prey on their fear,” says Stanton. 
He says many of those calls are related to stimulus checks. 
“Elderly are getting phone calls and texts telling them that they are from the government and that they can help them with the stimulus check but that they need to give their Social Security number and private information to get that expedited,” says Stanton. 
Another type of scam comes right to your door in the form of fake charities trying to cash in during the pandemic. 
“The charity scams are becoming more and more because they're pulling at people's heartstrings, other things that are happening or phone scams where they say a family member is in the hospital and I need to wire funds ASAP,” says Stanton. 
Stanton says never to give out your personal information over the phone, internet, or solicitors. He says anyone asking for money, your address, Social Security number, tax ID, or bank account is a big red flag. 
In the upcoming weeks, City Island Strong plans to host a Zoom conference to discuss COVID scams, and what they also say has been an increase in crime in the community.
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