Scams targeting seniors are nothing new. However, in recent years, these scams seem to have become more dangerous and more costly. As per many experts in senior living and senior care, elderly financial frauds are on the rise and result in 36.5 dollars lost annually. The fact that numerous seniors are conned out of their money and possessions is very much distressing.
Usually, scams targeting seniors ramp up during the holiday season as con artists know that seniors will be more charitable and more vulnerable during the holiday season. Therefore, seniors should take steps to make sure that they are not being ripped off. In addition, adult children can be more vigilant about the finances of their parents to hopefully catch potential scams before any serious money loss occurs.
Scams targeting seniors can occur at any time of the year, but some of these are more prevalent around the holiday season. Some of the most common ones are:
The Grandparent Scam: In this type of scam, someone claiming to be the grandchild of a senior calls saying that he or she is in trouble and is in urgent need of money to be bailed out of jail. The loving and unsuspecting grandparent might wire the money to the scammer. The scammer may also call and claim that he or she needs money to pay for tuition, buy a used car to get to school or college, etc.
The IRS Scam: In this type of scam, someone calls a senior claiming to be from the IRS and says that the person owes taxes. Thinking that the call is genuine, the unsuspecting senior will send money to avoid any possible legal actions. The senior might not realize that the IRS does not call about collections, and will never threaten people with legal actions and arrests.
Disaster Relief: Seniors might get calls from people claiming to be calling on behalf of disaster victims and requesting financial help. But, most of these calls might not be from a charity at all. These types of scams can be persistent throughout the year and you need to be much careful about them.
Fake Merchants: This type of scam mimics well-known merchants and your senior parent might receive email messages claiming that they have received holiday gifts or that they have made purchases from the website. Any purchase made will go to the scammer and the senior will not receive anything.