10 AI Scams Retirees Need to Watch Out For

Fraudsters are using advanced AI technology to deceive seniors.

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Updated July 18, 2024
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Scammers have always targeted older adults, but now they are using cutting-edge technology to do it.

With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), these fraudsters have developed new and sophisticated ways to deceive and steal from unsuspecting retirees. Understanding these scams and how to protect yourself can help you avoid wasting your retirement savings.

To preserve financial security during your golden years, watch out for these scams — and learn how to avoid them.

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Phony calls from loved ones

Rokas/Adobe scammer calling on smartphone placed on a wooden table

AI can now mimic voices with alarming accuracy, allowing scammers to create convincing fake phone calls from loved ones. For example, they might pose as a grandchild in trouble, asking for money to pay ransom or bail.

To avoid falling for this scam and jeopardizing your financial fitness, always verify the caller's identity by asking questions only your loved one would know. Or, call your loved one back at their known number.

Fake videos from celebrities

metamorworks/Adobe surprised reading text

AI-generated videos — also known as deep fakes — show realistic footage of celebrities endorsing products or services, such as making an investment or donating to a worthy cause. However, the videos are not real.

These fake endorsements can lure retirees into fraudulent schemes or investments. Always verify the authenticity of such endorsements through reliable sources before taking any action.

AI-created websites

Tupungato/Adobe internet scam fake banner

Scammers use AI to create professional-looking websites that mimic those of legitimate companies. These websites can trick retirees into providing personal information or making purchases that lead to financial loss.

Ensure you are on a secure website by looking for the “s” in "https" in the URL. Also, verify the site's legitimacy by looking for trusted reviews and official company contact information.

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Phishing emails

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Phishing emails have become more sophisticated with AI, making them harder to distinguish from genuine communications.

These emails often appear to be from trusted sources, such as banks or government agencies. They ask for personal or financial information or prompt you to click on malicious links.

Always verify the sender's email address and avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.

Product offers that steal your cash

Tim/Adobe financial scam

AI-generated advertisements for products can appear highly convincing and targeted to your interests. Scammers use these ads to lure retirees into purchasing nonexistent or subpar products.

To protect yourself, research the company and product thoroughly and read customer reviews before making any purchases.

Travel schemes

9nong/Adobe upset traveler using smartphone

AI can create enticing travel offers that promise great deals and discounts. These scams are especially likely to target retirees who enjoy traveling. The offers often require upfront payments.

Verify travel deals through reputable travel agencies or directly with airlines and hotels to avoid falling victim to these schemes.

Predatory romance scams

Celia/Adobe scammer trying to ask money

AI-powered chatbots and deep-fake profiles can make online romance scams more convincing. Scammers use these tools to build emotional connections with retirees, eventually asking for money under various pretexts.

Be cautious when forming online relationships and never send money to someone you have not met in person.

Bank account fraud

Rawpixel.com/Adobe Computer fraud alert warning

Scammers use AI to create fake notifications from your bank, prompting you to provide account information or log in to a fraudulent site. Some scammers even use fake driver’s licenses and computer-generated faces and graphics to open bank accounts in other people’s names.

These scams can lead to significant financial loss if your account details are compromised. Always verify the authenticity of any communication from your bank by contacting someone who actually works for the bank.

Financial institution scams

photobyphotoboy/Adobe masked no sincerity of doing business together

AI can generate convincing communications from financial institutions other than banks, such as your brokerage.

Always conduct thorough research and contact your financial institution at its official phone number or email address to verify whether these communications are a scam.

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Charity scams

weerapat1003/Adobe credit card phishing card with hook

AI-generated charity scams exploit retirees' generosity, especially during crises and natural disasters. These scams create realistic websites and communication from fake charities.Then, they solicit donations.

Verify the legitimacy of any charity through resources such as Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau (BBB) before making a donation.

Bottom line

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AI technology has given scammers new tools to deceive and steal from retirees, making it essential to stay vigilant and informed. Always verify the authenticity of communications, websites, and offers before taking any action with your hard-earned savings.

By staying cautious and informed, you can get ahead financially and eliminate some money stress, ensuring a secure and enjoyable retirement.

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Author Details

Adam Palasciano

Adam Palasciano is a personal finance-obsessed and money-savvy individual who loves to hash out content on all things saving money. He specializes in writing millennial-friendly personal finance content, covering topics ranging from trending financial news, debt, credit cards, cryptocurrency, and more.