More senior scams

Scammers are always coming up with new ways to prey on trusting seniors. The following scams have been recently reported by the BBB’s scam alerts:

Microsoft Scam

A scammer calls and claims to be a representative of Microsoft or "Windows Service" Center who is alerting users to "warnings" or "errors" discovered on their computer.

The scammer then instructs the victim to fix the problem by following commands over the phone. The scammer will try to gain remote access to the computer and install malicious software. He may also ask for credit card information to bill the victim for "repair services."

Microsoft's Safety and Security Center website says that "Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer."


  • If you have received this call and allowed remote access to your computer, immediately run anti-malware and anti-virus programs.
  • Contact your financial institution immediately if you provided credit card or bank account information.

American Express Scam

American Express card holders beware! Scammers are using the credit card company's email address for a phishing scam. Consumers nationwide reported receiving fake emails informing them that their account's email address has been changed.

These scam emails are remarkably sophisticated. Not only do they use the American Express logo, they copy the business's email design and color scheme. The fake messages even contain footer links labeled "View Our Privacy Policy" and "Contact Customer Service."

The message informs recipients that the email address on their American Express account has been changed and provides a link to where they can log in and correct the address. The link, along with the ones in the email footer, actually leads to a third-party website that downloads a virus on users' computers.


  • Do not reply or click on the link in the email
  • Forward the email to
  • Delete the email

Walmart Gift Card Scam

Cell phone users across the country are receiving suspicious text messages that claim to be from Walmart. The texts tell consumers they won a free gift card... and all they have to do is click a link and enter some information.

Unfortunately, there is no gift card. It's a scam to steal your credit card number and other personal info.

This scam has several versions. In one, the text reads "You just won a free $1,000 Walmart Gift Card, enter '1000' at [link]." In another, it says: "Walmart $1,000 gift card for the first 1,000 users to go to [link] and enter code 2938." The texts also use different URLs, including:


See's complete scam directory for more information about breaking scams.

Content in this article was excerpted from the Better Business Bureau website.

Kristi Vaughn

I am a Licensed Social Worker.

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Volume 4, Issue 8, Posted 11:02 AM, 04.17.2012