Senior Scams are a despicable but unfortunately common practice. Seniors are the victims of one-third of scams even though they represent only 12% of the population.
I have previously written about the “grandparent scam,” in which scam artists will call pretending to be a grandchild in need of money. The scam seems so simple and obvious that it could not work.
I have also written about a scam in which the caller claims to be a government representative, perhaps an IRS agent or even a police officer. The caller is aggressive, demanding money rather than asking for it. Callers are told someone is on their way to arrest them if they do not pay immediately. This scam also shows up in text messages.
There is another variation targeting seniors, which is something of a combination of the first two. In this variation, a person claims they are calling on behalf of a grandchild who is in jail and needs money. The person claims to be a lawyer and provides the grandchild’s name and a number for the so-called court case. The grandparent is told that money needs to be wired or the grandchild could be in jail for several days.
Each of these is a type of “imposter” scam, which now surpasses identity theft in the number of complaints made to the Federal Trade Commission. They are constantly happening in our own community.
While it seems obvious that these are scams, they are very effective. It is extremely important to help your loved ones be prepared, because it only takes one weak moment for the scammers to “set the hook.” One payment will result in more contacts from scammers, sometimes several per day. A call received at a vulnerable moment can turn into on-going harassment.
Do not assume vulnerable loved ones will be able to fend off these attacks. There are ways to assist them and help ensure they are protected. Come to a free, no obligation presentation to find out more about these and other simple steps to protect your estate.