It is becoming an inscreasingly difficult challenge to keep up with the innovations, changes and advancements scammers are using in trying to grab money away from seniors. Take a moment to review some of the notable points made by this post from pensionersfitness.com and fitness guru, Ian McClymont.
Beware of Scams
Scams On Seniors. There are so many different types of scams targeting people regardless of their age or their vulnerability. Many government agencies and organizations. Also, are constantly working to spread awareness of such scams to protect the public from becoming victims of fraud. Some popular scams that are currently targeting older adults include: Charity scams, Romance scams and Prize scams.
Scams On Seniors. The Charity Scams involve scammers collecting money by pretending to be a real charity. There are different ways in which scammers approach an individual. Often, the scammer will exploit a recent natural disaster or famine, that has been in the news. And by playing on emotions by pretending to be from charities that help children who are ill. Pressure, is often exerted to elicit a donation, and without details about the charity. And as such, address & contact details are often not provided.
When one is approached to donate to a charity. it is useful to check the registration of the charity. Each country has online, a database of the list of registered charities. However, if you are asked to donate at your door, do not give money. Tell the caller you only donate through the bank, and you have no cash at this time. Furthermore, resist any pressure be forceful insist you have no cash.
Scams On Seniors. Romance Scams occur through dating sites. Also, a scammer sends a few messages and a good-looking photo of themselves, or someone they claim to be. Next, once a person has been charmed, they will start asking them for money. And by claiming to have a very sick family member, or in a desperate situation, where they need your help. After the money is transferred to the fraudsters, they will often disappear.
Where the fraudster is offshore, or the money sent is untraceable, there is little that the police can do. Because they have no investigative authority in the foreign jurisdiction. Because it is too late, and the money is gone. Unfortunately, victims of such scams have no remedy available to them. And the fraudsters will rarely be held accountable for their actions.
Scams On Seniors. The situation is different when the fraud is committed by a person that is known to the older adult. Because, most often civil and/or criminal remedies are available. It is imperative however, to increase the public’s awareness within the view of the older adult. And by developing mechanisms that will act as preventative measures, rather than redress after the scam / fraud has taken place.
In 2018, Global News interviewed a senior lady who was diagnosed with early signs of dementia. Besides she had lost about $140,000.00 after becoming a target of a fake suiter who stole her money. After losing her husband and feeling lonely, she joined an online dating site, match.com. The imposter began his aggressive pursuit online, sent her pictures of himself and listened to her issues. Also, once she was hooked, the money requests started. Initially, the fraudster requested $12,000.00 USD which she sent. But, then he requested $80,000.00 USD as he claimed he had been jailed in India. Which she also sent, despite her bank manager advising her of the potential fraud.
Only when the imposter asked her to send money for the third time did she accept that she had been scammed. And went to the police to report it. By that time, it was unfortunately too late. The scam caused her to lose her independence. Consequently, she had to move out of her house as she couldn’t afford to live there anymore. In addition, she also had to sell her car.
This victim is aware that retrieving the money is almost impossible but she wanted her story to be heard. And in the hopes of warning others who might fall a victim to such a scam.
Scams On Seniors. The Prize Scams occur when people are contacted via an email, a letter, text message, social media or phone call, advising they have won, or have a chance at winning, a prize or lottery. The “winner” must first purchase something, or pay an advance fee such as taxes to receive the prize. The fraudsters also urge the individual to keep their winnings private or confidential, to ‘maintain security’, or stop other people from getting the prize by mistake. This is done to prevent the person from seeking further information or advice from independent sources.
Another story reported by CBC News, is of a senior from Norfolk County, who was scammed out of $152,000.00, after being told by an unknown caller that he had won an International Sweepstakes Lottery valued at $24.9 million USD, and needed to send money via wire transfers to cover the taxes from the winnings. The wire transfers were sent to addresses in San Francisco and New Jersey, then they were subsequently transferred to a number of unknown individuals.
Unfortunately for this victim, no legal recourse was available since there was very little that the police could do -the money and the perpetrator were in a foreign jurisdiction.
Receiving e-mails are often how scammers first reach you, an e-mail from a bank is often used. However, if it is not your bank, report it as phishing, usually found in the junk drop down menu. But if the e-mail is looking like it is from your bank, do not click on anything. So then, if you are concerned, ignore the e-mail and log on to your bank as you normally do. Also, once you open your account if there is anything from the bank it will be in the messages. Furthermore, this is a favourite of scammers because people worry if the bank contacts them.
NEVER SEND MONEY ONLINE TO ANYONE YOU DO NOT KNOW AND YOU HAVE NEVER MET.
Ian McClymont, pensionersfitness.com