As an injury attorney, I am very unlikely to be targeted in a scam. But this is not true for my grandmother. Here are some current scams that seem to target our seniors.
Obituary mining. In what must a new low, scammers use all the information in the obituaries to assert to the widow or widower that their newly-deceased owed them some money. Sometimes, it is alleged to be a gambling debt that might smear the reputation of the beloved deceased. They hope that the confused and grieving widow might pay the “debt” to avoid embarrassment or a public lawsuit.
Phone calls. Due to charming old-fashioned thoughts of courtesy, and loneliness, seniors make many more purchases over the phone than other age groups.
The worst thing, is that if you fall for one of these, you get added to the unflattering database known as the “sucker list.” Sometimes, new fakers then even call and offer to get the money back from the old fakers! They often use embarrassment as a weapon. If you feel you are getting scammed, do not be ashamed in front of your kids or grandkids. Let them help you.
Sometimes, the phone calls allege a relative is in trouble and takes advantage of the willingness of the victim to help. Often, charity scams target the elderly.
It has been widely reported that over 90% elder abuse is committed by a senior adult’s own family members like children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
The Nigerian scam, in one form or another, has it hit our seniors hard. And no, you did not win the Canadian lottery. Sometimes, seniors will actually receive a real check that they then write “tax money” or “fees” from to the lottery. Days later the original check bounces and they have your money.
Be careful out there.