Our seniors are the target of a whole host of financial scams, some of which can fool even the most vigilant among us. Unfortunately, scammers often think ahead of the average consumer, so they are always devising new ways to fool us. Here are just four examples of common financial scams that target the elderly. We hope that sharing these does not elicit fear but does make you more aware, so you’ll be careful with the financial information.
- Telemarketing phone scams. Tired of those telemarketing calls? You’re not alone. Some of those calls may be used against the elderly to elicit money. Some examples shared by the National Council on Aging include
- a scammer telling the caller that he or she has found a large amount of money and will share it with the caller if he or she will make a good-faith deposit.
- saying that a relative is in the hospital or is traveling and needs help and then asking for money (scary enough, the scammer sometimes even knows the name of a relative);
- soliciting money for a fake charity.
- The grandparent scam. A scammer calls an older person and says, “Hi Grandma/Granddad, do you know who this is?” The person answering the phone then says the name of a grandchild—and that gives the scammer a fake identify to use. That person will then often ask for money to go toward an unexpected financial problem, such as overdue rent or car repairs, according to the National Council on Aging. That money is to be paid via Western Union or MoneyGram, which don’t always require identification. The scammer also may say not to tell the parents.
- The long-distance sweetheart scam. A lonely elderly person finds love online—only to have the new long-distance love starting to ask him or her for money due to a lost job, car repairs, missed rent payment, etc. Sometimes, these scammers live in far-away countries but are still able to perpetrate their scam using a fake identity and money wire transfers.
- Unsolicited home repair. The legal website Nolo.comgives the example of “home repair workers” who target a neighborhood with a larger concentration of older people by going door to door and offering home repairs. They’ll point out some sort of repair outside that needs to be done quickly and then insist on an upfront payment. The work is often done poorly, if at all.
Call Secure Aging to Help Your Loved One Avoid Financial Scams
At Secure Aging in Bradenton, wetransform the weight of the world into a sigh of relief for our senior clients and their concerned family members. We can help your older loved one not fall prey to the financial scams outlined above. The mission of Secure Aging is to protect and preserve our client’s independence and dignity through careful and thoughtful financial and care management. As our clients age, it is their desire to remain independent and age with dignity. Our services protect our clients from talented con artists looking to exploit and deplete the financial resources of our vulnerable seniors. Secure Aging helps families in Manatee County and Sarasota County and in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Call us at 941-761-9338, or visit us online at www.secureaging.com.