Senior Scams In a Modern World

Baby Boomers are getting older and smarter everyday. Those born in the years following World War II represent about 23% of today’s U.S. population—around 74 million Americans. Scammers love baby boomers! But you can outsmart them.

Newsweek once published an article entitled “Babies Mean Business” and they were right. As a group, Baby Boomers were wealthier, more active and more physically fit than any preceding generation; they were the first to grow up genuinely expecting the world to improve with time.

The post-war economic boom did create endless opportunities for this young generation to have a well-paying job or open their own business. The problem today is that the crooks of the world know where the money is and are constantly cooking up scams to get at it.

NCOA is the National Council on Aging. Their goal is to improve the lives of older adults by providing information to make them smarter about the signs of elder abuse, live healthier lives, and have economic security—including money management. See their Top Ten list of scams targeting seniors in our modern world.

If you skip the link, at least read #10: The grandparent scam…

The grandparent scam is so simple and so devious because it uses one of older adults’ most reliable assets, their hearts.

Scammers will place a call to an older person and when the mark picks up, they will say something along the lines of: “Hi Grandma, do you know who this is?” When the unsuspecting grandparent guesses the name of the grandchild the scammer most sounds like, the scammer has established a fake identity without having done a lick of background research.

Once “in,” the fake grandchild will usually ask for money to solve some unexpected financial problem (overdue rent, payment for car repairs, etc.), to be paid via Western Union or MoneyGram, which don’t always require identification to collect. At the same time, the scam artist will beg the grandparent “please don’t tell my parents, they would kill me.”

While the sums from such a scam are likely to be in the hundreds, the very fact that no research is needed makes this a scam that can be perpetrated over and over at very little cost to the scammer.

We at DLMoneyMatters care deeply about seniors. Read why here. We provide daily money management for seniors, children of aging parents, family trusts, executives and entrepreneurs, and attorneys and accountants who outsource these services. Call us for a personal quote. (513) 322-1036.