12 Common Scams That Target Seniors


Scams are being reported at an unprecedented rate, where situations can be devastating for the victim. Most scams that take place revolve around finances where elderly individuals are targeted.

Senior Citizens are often victimized by con artists. To remain safe from these scams, it is important to note the different types of scams that exist at large.

Following is the list of the most common type of scams targeting the elderly in 2017:

1.  Telemarketing scams

Telemarketing scam is one of the most common and easiest ways to scam an elderly. This type of scam is hard to trace due to no paper trail or personal interaction. There are many instances where the same telemarketers have called someone they’ve previously scammed and defrauded them again.

2.  Investment scams

Mostly, seniors or veterans who are planning for retirement want to safeguard their money for later years. Hence, the easiest way to do it is by investing in a scheme to keep getting greater returns over time. However, these con artists have used such schemes to take advantage of older people.

3.  Lottery scams

Nothing comes for free. But it’s a lot of fun to imagine found money, isn’t it? Lottery scammers tell people that they have won a lottery and to receive their prize money they are required to deposit some money. The imposters even send “checks” to convince their victims to pay fees before vanishing and leaving the victim with a worthless scrap of paper. The criminal would happily collect the supposed fees and vanish like it never happened.

4.  Health insurance scams

Every individual in the United States, who is 65 years or older qualifies for a great health insurance plan known as Medicare. Criminals become imposters by posing themselves as company representatives to scam the elderly into paying for benefits they have already earned.

5.  Prescription scams

Another scam that victimizes older people most often is fake prescription drugs on the internet. To save some money, the seniors search for specialize medications available at cheaper rates. In most cases, they end up purchasing something that won’t benefit them, o will even worsen their condition.

6.  Funeral scams

There are two types of funeral scams targeting the elderly. One trick is attempting to extort money from the widow, widower or relatives to settle the outstanding debts left behind by the deceased. On the other hand, some scammers also try to add unnecessary charges to the bill of funeral and cemetery services.

7.  Fake product scams

Many older Americans have spent hundreds and thousands of dollars on buying fake products. Usually, criminals offer seniors anti aging products which would apparently give them a younger look. However, these fake anti aging products do nothing.

8.  Digital scams

Over the last decade, the internet has taken over the world by storm. However, the slower adoption speed of the seniors made them a good scam candidate in 2017. Viruses, information extraction or fake antivirus programs have not only scammed elderly people, but have also obtained valuable information.

9.  Phishing scams

The most common email or phishing scam is receiving an email from the IRS. The imposters pose themselves as IRS representatives and ask the elderly to either update or verify their information.

10. Mortgage scams

Seniors who own or are living alone in their homes are most likely to be scammed by the con artists. On behalf of the company or County Assessor’s Office, criminals will send letters to the seniors for property assessment. The attempt is to make money off the fake services offered.

11. Social security scams

Criminals will pose that they are working for Social Security and will contact you to either verify or update your personal information. All the information provided will be used by identity thieves who look for social security number, name, bank details, date of birth and mother’s maiden name.

12. Contractor scam

Bogus contractors have been scamming elderly individuals for a long time. They personally visit or contact through the phone to tell you that your home needs major structural repairs. This is usually to make money.

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