Watch Out for Hobby Fraud

Many of us love pursuing our hobbies, be it cooking, photography, classic cars, or many other options. Yet did you know that you could get bilked out of your hard-earned money and possessions through hobby scams? This is something that could potential affect the senior loved one in your life. Here are a few examples of how scammers are taking advantage of people.

  • Phony Sports Memorabilia
    From that rare baseball card to an old but valuable football jersey, there are more reports of fake items being sold. One example: A fake 1952 Stan Musial baseball card that sold for more than $28,000, according to AARP. To combat this problem, get your sports memorabilia from reputable shops and sellers and who offer a money-back guarantee in a certain timeframe. Avoid sells who want payment in untraceable gift cards or cryptocurrency.
  • Your Favorite Celebrity Needs Money
    Is your loved one’s hobby watching movies and keeping up with Hollywood stars? Well, here’s their chance to meet Tom Cruise…or so says the message you received through Facebook. The catch? “Tom Cruise” wants you to wire him some money before you meet. It may seem hard to believe, but people are getting scammed by these fake celeb requests. One fan paid almost $150,000 to send money to a fake rock star. Don’t wire money to people you don’t know. Be skeptical of potentially fake social media accounts.
  • Watch Out for Fake Auto Parts
    Does your senior loved one collect or work on classic cars? As you may imagine, parts for one-of-a-kind or classic cars can be pricey. It’s not unusual to turn to the internet to look for parts. Watch out for sellers who swear they have hard-to-find parts and may even offer them for crazy low prices. The end result could be that you pay for a part but never receive it, and then you’re out of your money. Be wary of parts that are very different in price compared to the norm, and ask for a visual inspection before buying a part.
  • Craft Fair Cons
    Maybe your senior loved one has a special artistic skill, be it painting, jewelry making, or sculpture. It’s not uncommon for creative types to try and sell their products at craft shows. However, not everyone advertising a craft show is legit. There are craft fair fraudsters who will reach out to people, often via Facebook direct message, to talk about their craft fairs and discuss table or vendor fees to be paid on PayPal or a peer-to-peer app like Zelle. Yet you then find out that the craft fair is not real, and you’re out of the funds you paid.  Help your senior loved one avoid this scam by only looking for craft fairs that are publicly advertised and that can be easily verified. This article from Malware Bytes gives a few more words of caution.

Call Secure Aging to Find Out How We Can Help Seniors With Money Management

At Secure Aging in Bradenton, we transform the weight of the world into a sigh of relief for our senior clients and their concerned family members. 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

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