An “80-year-old woman received a letter in the mail claiming she had been awarded a large amount of money, but was required to pay fees and complete paperwork before the money would be released. According to police, the woman, without the knowledge of her children, started sending money. She started receiving notices indicating she would be awarded more money, and the scam went on for about a year. She sent about $400,000, police said.”
Scams like these are extremely easy and very lucrative for criminals. Elderly or those in your life that may be considered naïve are often the target because of their gullible nature. But other times it’s the time and culture they were raised in. There are numerous ways in which criminals pull at the heart strings of their victims to get them to open their bank accounts. Often it’s the same people who are targeted over and over again.
The most effective way to prevent these crimes from happening to all those concerned is to get better control over the release of funds from any of their financial accounts. Meaning if they have a big bank account set it up so two signatures are required for a check to be written. If the person is concerned they don’t want to be inconvenienced with every check they write then set up two accounts. One with a little money and one account with more funds effectively locked down.