Hi this is Anthony from Rosa’s Chante. I find it sad tht we have to even talk about this, however, senior citizens are often the targets of fraud and financial crimes. Among the reasons: Some older people have built substantial assets (including their own home and large savings accounts), they’re easy to find at home, and they can be swayed by fears of losing their financial independence. I am going to list a few scams people should watch out for.
Prize and Sweepstakes Frauds: A congratulatory phone call or letter comes informing a consumer that they have won a prize or a large sum of money in a lottery or sweepstakes. But before any “winnings” are delivered, you are told you must pay for fees, taxes, shipping and handling or other charges. Of course, the prize never comes or any products that do arrive are essentially worthless.
Telemarketing or mail fraud The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that dishonest telemarketers take in an estimated $40 billion each year, bilking one in six American consumers — and the AARP claims that about 80% of them are 50 or older. Scammers use the phone to conduct investment and credit card fraud, lottery scams, and identity theft. Scammers also use the phone to sell seniors goods that either never arrive or are worthless junk.
Charitable Donation Scams Crooks disguised as charities collect donations or money for raffles. While you think you’re helping people in need, you’re really helping con artists pad their pockets. You should make donations only to charities you are familiar with or after consulting with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which maintains reports on national and local charities.
Home or Auto Repair Scams Someone calls or knocks at your door offering a super deal to fix your roof or driveway or repair your car. After you hand over the funds you discover the work hasn’t been completed, is of poor quality or wasn’t needed in the first place. Some scammers have billed consumers for maintenance or repairs that were never performed.
Using fraudulent legal documents. Many scammers cloak their actions in legal authority, procuring a power of attorney or will or other legal document giving them access to a senior’s property. They get seniors to sign these documents by lying to, intimidating, or threatening the seniors.
“I-Need-Your-Help” Scams Unlike the previous scams that involve selling or giving something to the victim, here the con artist is asking to receive some assistance… and in the process obtains account information or access to funds. Example: Someone claiming to be a bank examiner, bank security officer or police officer calls asking for help investigating a possible fraud by withdrawing cash from your bank account or providing account information. If the trick works, the bogus investigator can walk away with the money or use the confidential information to raid the victim’s bank account.
Be careful and do not let your elderly loved one get scammed. It took them a lifetime to save their money, we do not want to see them lose it in a mment.