< Return to Blog

Common Elder Scams

MP900439289Some scams against the elderly are well-known.  Nevertheless, they continue to work.

People who seek to scam the elderly out of money are not always very subtle about it. Not every scammer is patient enough to slowly get to know an elderly person and then con them out of their money. Some scams used against the elderly are demanding.

A common one is for an unknown person to call a grandparent and tell him or her that a grandchild is in trouble and needs cash wired immediately. The trouble normally consists of a problem with the police, where bail money is needed.

Another common scam the Minneapolis Star Tribune points out in “As senior population grows, so do scams targeting their money,” is for a voice message to be left on an elderly person’s phone claiming to be from the IRS. The elderly person is instructed to call a number right away for their last chance to settle a problem with the IRS by sending money.

Those schemes might seem like obvious scams to most people, but they continue to work on many of the elderly. The scammers seek to take advantage of the elderly person’s diminished capacity and by demanding the money right away, the victim does not have the time to think through the request or ask anyone else about.

These and other scams against the elderly are unfortunately increasing. Elderly people should be aware of them and never agree to send money over the phone to someone, until they discuss the matter with someone else.

Reference: Minneapolis Star Tribune (Feb. 16, 2018) “As senior population grows, so do scams targeting their money.”