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5 Common Scams That Target Retirees

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Approximately one-third of scams target seniors and retirees. While this is a scary thought, one of the best ways anyone can protect themselves is to be aware of what is going on and arming themselves with knowledge. We help identify some of the bigger scams that target seniors in order to prevent the financial and emotional toll it may have on an individual and their loved ones.


1. Grandparent Scam

Beware! One of the scariest things that can happen is that in the middle of the night, you receive a call from someone claiming to be your grandchild and they found themselves in jail or in the hospital while traveling abroad. But, wait a minute – there have been cases of U.S. grandparents receiving calls from scam artists claiming to be their grandchild and are in urgent need of money. Before you start sending your money, the first thing you should do is to contact the grandchild or their parents to make sure that they are okay. Another way to verify their identity is to ask a personal question that only you and your grandchild may know.

2. Romantic Connection Scam

Online dating can be one of the best ways to meet new people. However, you still need to be aware of the potential for people who would take advantage of others. These criminals would sweet-talk to their victims for weeks, before eventually asking them for money. Usually they would ask for money saying that they need help paying for a plane ticket or are going through a financial crisis. Online dating can still be a great way to meet new people, but be wary of those who ask for money.

3. Charity Scam

Charity scams are another way that con artists try to tug at people’s heartstrings.In the aftermath of a big natural disaster, such as a Hurrican Katrina or other media-heavy disasters, scammers will pose as representatives of charities. To continue to support reputable charities, never give your credit card information over the phone or to door-to-door solicitors. Also, donate directly to charities that you know, and do your research before donating to charities that you are unsure of.

4. Lottery Scam

The “Lottery Scam” is one of the more popular scams out there. Victims will receive a letter or a phone call telling them that they had won the lottery. However, these criminals will tell them that in order for the prizes to be released, they ask for the victims to send money. Unfortunately, that is not the case and many victims can lose up to thousands of dollars from this scam.

5. Home Repair Scam

It’s nice to have some help around the home sometimes, and legitimate contractors can offer their services to help with home repairs and renovations at a decent price with quality work. However, be aware of those who may go from door-to-door looking for work, claiming that there are supposed repairs that need to be done on your home. While there are many hard-working and quality workers who are willing to help with your home repair, it is important to be aware of those who may not have the same work ethic. Other home repair scams can include having the scammers require a large deposit up-front and leaving before any work is done. One of the best ways to help protect yourself is request information from the works, such as asking for a business card, and researching third-party reviews.

Read Related Articles: 

How to Recognize Reverse Mortgage Scams

Reverse Mortgage Scams: How to Protect Yourself

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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