"Talk with your parents and grandparents to make sure they are aware of these frauds and help them plan what they will do in response, when confronted by the con artists.”
There have always been “snake oil salesmen.” However, con artists are around every corner today. Some of these swindlers target seniors, so Grandma beware – top 7 scams targeting the elderly.
A recent Bankrate article reveals these flimflams perpetrated on our aging loved ones. Talk with your parents and grandparents to make sure they know of these frauds. Also help them to plan what they will do in response, when confronted by the con artists.
The Fountain of Youth
Although the wisdom and financial security that can come with age are enjoyable, wrinkles, frailty and low energy are no fun for anyone. People have been trying to sell magical elixirs throughout time, and today is no different. Easy access to the Internet makes it easier for crooks to fleece people of their hard-earned money on worthless anti-aging products and prescription drugs. You send them your money, and you are lucky if the product ever arrives. If it does, it might be watered-down, fake or even toxic. When you try to get your money back, the seller is not reachable.
Some low-life scum choose their targets by reading obituaries in the newspaper, then ripping off the grieving widows. Their tactics include calling the home and demanding money for a fake debt, or showing up with a package they claim is COD (cash on delivery) and insisting on immediate payment. By the time Grandma opens the box and discovers it contains old newspapers or similar worthless items, the fraudster is long gone.
The Tax Man Cometh
Some scam artists call seniors, pretending to be the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and demanding that the senior wire them money. The IRS never – ever – does this, so if your loved one gets this phone call, she should write down the contact information then give it to you so you can go to law enforcement. Prosecutors are cracking down on these bilkers, so the more information you can provide them, the better.
People will call seniors, posing as their doctor’s staff or a Medicare representative, and try to get the senior’s Social Security number, driver’s license number or other personal information. The crooks then use this information to steal your loved one’s identity and run up credit card charges in her name.
It is NOT Your Grandchild on the Phone
In this scam, a stranger will call a grandparent pretending to be her grandchild and in desperate need of money. If this happens, have your loved one write down the contact information and contact you to verify the whereabouts of the grandchild.
Take a Little Off the Top
While there are many honorable financial advisors, some unscrupulous ones help themselves to their elderly clients’ assets. Watch your parents’ financial accounts to know where every dollar is going.
We could write a book about funeral home and cemetery plot scams. These include padding the bill with unnecessary charges and pressuring Grandma to buy an expensive casket, even though Grandpa will have a cremation. The grieving widow should never go to the funeral home alone to plan the services. A trusted friend or relative can protect Grandma from being hustled.
The laws are different in every state, so talk with an elder law attorney in your area.
Bankrate. “7 costly scams that target senior citizens.” (accessed October 5, 2017) http://www.bankrate.com/finance/retirement/fraud-scams-aimed-at-the-elderly-1.aspx#slide=1