Elderly Scams Heating Up

Unfortunately the media is reporting lots and lots of scams directed towards the elder population. We’ve discussed these scams at length in these posts, and we are going to again today. As long as there are victims, we need to be reminded of how to protect those who need protecting.

Real time – real life examples are often the best teaching tool providing insight to the scammers process and what to look out for. Print this out or email it to someone who needs to be reminded:

Austin Texas, April 4, 2011: The reports “an 85-year-old rural Austin woman is out $3,800 after getting scammed by someone she believed was her granddaughter. The person told her she had been in a car accident in Mexico and needed her to wire money to pay for the accident.”

Perry County PA, March 22: reports “An 84 year old woman fell victim to a phone call scam from someone saying they were from law enforcement and that her grandson needed bail money. They claimed he was in jail in Haiti. The scammer then put someone else on the line who claimed to be her grandson. She provided her credit card information and a driver’s license number. A charge was later received for $1400. That charge was made in Canada.”

Chicago IL, April 4: The Chicago Tribune reports: “An 86-year-old Tinley Park woman who told police she handed over her savings last week to a man she thought was investigating an earlier scam against her. A con artist posing as an investigator — in this case reportedly wearing glasses, a tan coat and dark dress pants and flashing a gold badge. A Chicago ring whose members allegedly posed as an FBI agent as well as bank and credit-card fraud investigators and stole roughly $100,000 from about 20 elderly victims.

In another Chicago case, an 80-year-old woman was persuaded by a police impersonator to withdraw $18,000 to pay her husband’s bail. She was so panicked, police said, she forgot to check if he was in jail.”

Toronto, April 7th: reports “Man charged with scamming 95-year-old woman out of thousands. Conman duped woman into paying him for furnace repairs he didn’t make. It began when the victim answered a knock on the door of her home.  “He comes to the door and said, ‘I’d like to see the heater,” .The elderly woman let him in and the suspect went down in the basement and stayed there for quite some time while she waited upstairs. When he came up, he said she owed over $7,000.  She told the man she didn’t have that kind of money on her, and he allegedly convinced her to approve a bank withdrawal for the amount.

I repeat: Print this out or email it to someone who needs to be reminded.

I feel like I need to take a shower with a Brillo pad.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to Home Security Source discussing scammers and thieves on The Big Idea with Donnie Deutsch.