Scammers Beware: Empowering the Elderly with Call Screening and AI to Protect Themselves

Scammer: “I’m in a foreign country and I’ve been arrested for a minor crime. I need you to wire me some money so I can pay my bail and come home.”

Mrs. Johnson: “Oh no, John! I’ll do whatever I can to help you. How much do you need?”

Scammer: “I need $5,000 as soon as possible. Can you wire the money to this account number? It’s very important that you don’t tell anyone else about this.”

Mrs. Johnson: “I’ll go to the bank right away and send the money. I won’t tell anyone, I promise.”

Scammers today often target the elderly because they know may be more vulnerable and trusting than other demographics. A common tactic is to call and pretend to be a grandchild in need of money or a government official requesting personal information. These calls can be very convincing, but it’s important for seniors to know that they should never give out personal information or send money to someone they don’t know.

But should seniors even answer the call?

Elderly individuals may also be more likely to experience fear when receiving a call from an unknown number, which can prevent them from answering the phone at all. This fear can be heightened by stories they may hear from friends or family members about scammers targeting the elderly.

To protect themselves from these types of scams, most articles today advise the elderly to take a few simple steps:

  • Do not answer calls from numbers you do not recognize. If the caller is legitimate, they will usually leave a message.
  • Do not give out personal information, such as your social security number, over the phone.
  • Be wary of unsolicited calls or emails that ask for money.
  • If you are unsure about a call or email, hang up or delete it and reach out to a trusted friend or family member for advice.

All sound advice.

But here at KONTXT, we believe you should be in charge of your phone, and have the visibility, information, and trust to answer an unknown call regardless of your age. Our AI powered solution KONTXT Call Screening allows you to identify not just who is calling, but allows you to screen a call BEFORE making the decision to answer, allowing you to take back control of your phone.

When an unknown call comes in, KONTXT Call Screening can help you determine what a call is about. Whether the call is from a pharmacist letting you know your prescription has been filled, your new caregiver calling to let you know she is running late, or a scammer pretending to be your grandson or the IRS, KONTXT can categorize what the call is about and provide you more information to make your own decision.

It’s important to note that no single solution can completely protect you from scam calls, but using a combination of methods, such as using a call screener, using a carrier scam protection app, as well as being aware of the types of scams that are out there can greatly reduce the risk of falling victim to a scam.