Getting old is not for sissies, my sister said. When you read about some of the scams out there to take advantage of today’s seniors I can see what she means. There is a reason why elderly people and savvy seniors can be taken advantage of and it can be traced to varying degrees of isolation. Often because of their embarrassment at being taken advantage of they fail to report the crime.
United Way reports that thirty percent of seniors live alone and are particularly vulnerable. This statistic also applies to seniors who live in Langley. Increased vulnerability
is a danger and an isolated senior can fall prey to scammers. Being starved for conversation, an elderly person may allow anyone into their home who will talk to them. Similarly on the telephone, if they are lonely , they may engage in a conversation and could be convinced to give out private and sensitive information to someone who seeks to steal from a vulnerable elderly person.
But it’s not all doom and gloom! If you can make your elderly parents and friends aware of what’s out there you can help them take the necessary steps to avoid being victimized by those fraudsters. Knowledge is power and by keeping up to date on some of the old and new scams out there will help seniors and those who care for them to avoid becoming a victim. The following is a brief list. Watch this space in the coming weeks as we describe the scams and help you or your elderly parents to avoid becoming a victim.
- Pigeon Drop
- Grandchild in trouble
- Identity Theft
- Bank Inspector Fraud
- Home Renovation Fraud
- Public Utility Imposter Scam
- Charity Scams
- The Lottery Scam
- Free Vacation scams
- The prize scam
- Chain Referral Scam
- Medical Fraud
- Area Code Scam
- Advanced Fee Letter Fraud
This week we will be talking about a scam that is as old as money itself. The Pigeon Drop.
This scheme accounts for more than half of the ‘confidence games’ reported to police! A potential victim may be approached by telephone or even in person. The swindler tells you that they have found a large sum of money and offer to share it with you. You are asked to withdraw ‘good faith’ money from your bank and give it to the swindler. He or she will take it from you and give you an address where you can collect your share of the ‘found’ money. There is only one guarantee in this case. You will never see them again.
To avoid being taken advantage of this scam, the first thing to do is not rush into anything. Remember there is no such thing as getting something for nothing nor do any ‘get rich quick’ schemes pay off in the end. Never, ever turn over any money regardless of the amount to anyone, especially a stranger. If the deal sounds too good to be true. It is. Next week we will talk about a particularly heartbreaking scam, The Grandchild in Trouble
Lilianne Fuller, Relationship Manager at B Cared For Services