The latest scams and how they target seniors

Pensive senior woman thinking of problem solution in office
Criminal-minded individuals are always looking for easy targets, and that’s why they like to pick on seniors, who may be easier to confuse or to persuade in whatever scam the perpetrator is working. Over the years, many of these scams have become fairly sophisticated, and it’s difficult for seniors to separate truth from fiction when confronted by a convincing criminal. Here are some of the newest scams that target seniors used today by swindlers out to separate seniors from their cash and other assets.

Obituary scams 

As despicable as it may be, there are crooks who are more than willing to take advantage of grieving seniors, and will browse through obituaries to find someone who has recently passed on, so their surviving senior relatives can be targeted. The criminal contacts a senior and tells them that their deceased relative left some outstanding debts which have to be paid off. They might go so far as to threaten legal action if the debt is not immediately taken care of, and an intimidate senior will often give in and pay.

Bogus prescription drugs 

A very common scam aimed at seniors is the one which has a website setup offering inexpensive prescription drugs. This can be very appealing to seniors who have limited funds, and are always on the lookout to save money wherever possible. Once they buy the drugs online, they find that the drugs do nothing at all to address their symptoms, because the ‘prescription drugs’ are actually nothing more than cheap placebos. 

The grandparent scam 

This scam relies on the helpful nature of seniors, and consists of a criminal contacting an elderly person, and pretending to be a relative in financial trouble. The crook asks for money to be wired to him/her so the trouble can be resolved, and the ‘relative’ can be free of debt or financial obligation. In some cases, the criminal will impersonate a lawyer or legal representative of the relative, to make it seem even more urgent.

Lottery winnings and fake prizes 
Most seniors would be thrilled to have lots of extra money coming from a lottery prize or some other fake prize, which they are told they’ve just won. In order to claim their prize, all they have to do is mail in the fees and taxes on that prize, and the prize can then be issued in full to them. Of course, the prize never arrives, and the senior is bilked out of the fee and taxes money.

Preventing senior scams 
Senior living home care can be a big help to vulnerable seniors in terms of preventing scams from being carried out on them. Elder in-home care can monitor and in some cases, screen attempts made by criminals to victimize unsuspecting seniors. In Colorado Springs and elsewhere in the country, home care professionals offer a sound second opinion on such scams, and in most cases can debunk them before they ever get to the next stage. This is another way that senior care can be very beneficial for seniors, especially those who are often confused by dementia or other cognitive impairments. 
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