Scamming the elderly out of money has been occurring more and more in the past decade. Scammers are going after seniors in order to steal their money, leaving them in a vulnerable state at an older age. In Part 1 of Financial Scams That Target The Elderly, a few of the more common scams were introduced. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there, and there are more scams to be informed about.
Funeral and Cemetery
In one approach for a scam, someone will attend a funeral service to take advantage of the grieving widow or widower. They will pretend to know the deceased and make up an outstanding debt that the deceased has yet to pay. The scammers extort money from the living relatives to settle the debts they are claiming to have. Another approach is one of the disreputable funeral homes. They will charge high costs for services that are unnecessary and only add more to the bill.
Fraudulent Anti-Aging Products
The elderly are more likely to seek out new treatments and medications to maintain a younger-looking self. This can put them at risk of scammers by creating products that are often dangerous and cost a lot of money. Botox scams are the lab-created version of the real thing but don’t have the right ingredients. These bad batches can have health consequences and are very expensive.
The internet has been a driving force in life as we know it. But older generations can take more time to adapt to the speed of the internet. Scammers take advantage of this lack of knowledge and target older people with web pop-ups and email programs. They can plant a virus in the pop-up browsers leaving whatever information that is stored on the computer at risk. A popular scam is email phishing scams where they will send a message appearing to be a legitimate company and asking them to verify certain information. A senior will usually fill out these emails without noticing that they are having their information stolen.
The Grandparent Scam
This simple scam will place a call to an elderly person, and when they pick up, the scammer will typically start the conversation off with “Hi Grandma, do you know who this is?” This prompts the unsuspecting grandparent to guess who they believe it is and the scammer establishes their new identity. Typically, after the identity is established, the scammer will ask for money to solve their financial problems. Usually, the scammer will act embarrassed and ask the grandparent not to tell anyone they helped them out with their money problems.
If you think you are a victim of a scam, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone for help. Many people fall victim to these schemes and when unreported, can make it possible for these scammers to continue what they are doing.