08 Jun 10 Common Scams That Target Seniors and How to Avoid Them – U.S. NEWS
Learn the warning signs to identify and steer clear of senior scams.
By Rachel Hartman – US News & World Report
Every year, thieves target individuals to get access to their personal information and money, and they tend to zero in on older people. Seniors lose more than $3 billion to fraud each year, according to the FBI. If you haven’t yet been approached by a scammer, you could face a scheme in the coming years. Sometimes family members, especially relatives caring for the elderly, are even the ones behind the attack.
A fraudster could contact you to congratulate you for winning a lottery. They might send you a fake check, which may initially look real until it is rejected by the bank, and you might be asked to pay for fees or cover taxes. Jim White, an attorney and founder of J.C. White Law Group in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has a client who was told that his wife, who has dementia, entered and won $15 million in an international sweepstakes, but then the client was asked to pay for fees.
“If you are told that someone who is incompetent has either won a prize or incurred an obligation, look into it carefully,” White says. “Do not allow anyone to forward you money of any kind in any way that you must pass on to anyone else.”