Common Financial Elder Abuse Scams
Tips to help protect against financial abuse.
According to recently released Census Bureau projections, the number of Americans 65 and older will double over the next 30 years to 80 million. Because older Americans have worked and saved longer than their younger counterparts, they naturally hold a much larger share of the nation’s wealth.
Scammers are all too familiar with these statistics and are constantly developing new strategies to illegally take this money from the elderly. There is no limit to the imagination of a crook. Here are a few of the most common scams.
Some more simple things that you can do to help protect your loved one:
1. The Grandparent Scam
The scammer will place a call to a senior and when the mark picks up, they will say something along the lines of: “hi grandma, do you know who this is?”
When the unsuspecting grandparent guesses the name of the grandchild the scammer most sounds like, the scammer has established a fake identity with little to no effort. Once “in,” the fake grandchild will usually ask for money to solve some unexpected financial problem (overdue rent, payment for car repairs, bail money for a dui, etc.), to be paid via western union or MoneyGram, which don’t always require identification to collect. At the same time, the scam artist will beg the grandparent “please don’t tell my parents, they will kill me.”
Always double check with family to confirm that an actual crisis is happening.