AlzU Blog

Tips on Avoiding Scams Targeting the Elderly-Part I

When it comes to scams targeting the elderly population, there no such thing as being TOO INFORMED.  According to The Alzheimer’s Association, exploitation of seniors in the United States is actually on the rise.  Says the Alzheimer’s Association; “One report stated that financial scams targeting seniors have become so prevalent that they are now considered the crime of the twenty-first century.”

Keep in mind, not only are criminals committing crimes against the elderly, many scams are crimes committed by people the victim knows.  Here is a list of some of the most common scams that target the elderly in America today:

1.Scams claiming to represent Medicare or other healthcare insurance companies.  A person may pose as a representative of Medicare with the intention of gathering personal information such as bank account numbers and/or Medicare numbers.

2.Funeral or cemetery scams target widows or widowers found in local newspaper announcements.  The victim is contacted and informed that the deceased person has unpaid debts.  The criminal has the intention of collecting money from the grieving family member.

3.Scams involving prescription drugs.

4.Telemarketers claiming to sell products in an effort to collect personal information such as credit card numbers and other banking information.

5.Internet scams are usually implemented via email from a company asking seniors to update vital information such as banking data. Another type of email scam is a fake notification from a real email address (a friend or family member) asking for a personal loan for some false emergency situation.

6.Investment scams or pyramid schemes claiming get rich quick scams, with the intent of taking investment money for businesses that don’t usually afford any financial returns.

7.Lottery scams involve fake notification that a person has won a sweepstakes or a lottery and they need to pay some sort of payment or give bank information in order to receive their winnings.

8.Reverse Mortgage scams can actually result in seniors losing the rights to their property.  This is an example of a scam that has exponentially increased in the past few years.

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