You’ve just won $25,000! Just send $200 and buy a worthless trinket. It’s all worth it for the prize, right?
Exploitation schemes targeting the elderly are a multi-billion dollar business. Nearly 7% of seniors will fall prey to these ploys. The best way to prevent elder financial abuse is to be aware of common cons today. Here are a few:
1. Sweepstakes schemes: Entering in sweepstakes is fun and most of the contests are legitimate. However, beware of any contest that asks you to send money to receive a prize you have “won”.
2. Grandparent scams: A con artist will call and impersonate the senior’s grandchild and say that he is in trouble somewhere abroad. He insists he needs money wired immediately. Many have lost thousands this way.
3. Toilet paper cons: Beware of people selling common items for an exorbitant cost. Scam artists impersonating federal agencies called seniors saying that septic systems had changed and their normal toilet paper would ruin them. Luckily, the scammers had “better” (and very expensive) toilet paper available for purchase. These con artists made off with over $1 million of seniors’ money.
Elder financial abuse is becoming rampant so follow your gut. If something seems off, get a second opinion before proceeding.