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By Jennifer Bradley, Staff Writer
- MEDICARE AND INSURANCE FRAUD
This is when a scam artist may pose as an
insurance representative to get a senior’s
private information, or provide false services
in order to bill Medicare and keep the cash.
- PRESCRIPTIONS These scams
are most popular online, where seniors are
trying to find lower-priced medications and are
buying pills that are counterfeit. There are two
dangers here: the first being the loss of
money and second, taking a pill that could be
very harmful physically.
- FUNERAL AND CEMETERY The
NCOA says that the FBI is warning seniors about
scammers trying to claim money from a deceased
person’s loved one. They may claim the deceased
had a debt to pay.
Another part of this type of scam is when a
funeral director and other fraudulent people
will insist a grieving family need additional
services and/or caskets (in the event of
- ANTI-AGING PRODUCTS The
senior population is not in the dark about the
abundance of anti-aging products on the market
today, or immune from the desire to remain
young. Con artists know this, which is why they
will sell fake products, a common one being
Botox. Professionals warn that these scams are
very nerve-wracking because the fake labs are
still using the same root ingredient, botulism
neurotoxin, which is one of science’s most
toxic. It can have severe consequences to a
loved one’s health.
- TELEMARKETING This is the
most common scheme, one heard of regularly.
Preying on the loneliness of the elderly, con
artists are able to conduct a scheme that is
hard to trace and financially detrimental to a
- INTERNET Since the
nation’s older generation is online, but also
not as savvy, this makes them a perfect target
for automated scams, utilizing pop-up browsers
and viruses. A popular example is a seemingly
legit company asks for them to update or
“verify” personal information.
- INVESTMENT Pyramid schemes,
among a variety of other investment schemes,
have been around for a long time.
- MORTGAGE Many seniors own
their homes outright, which is a popular scam
target for con artists. Reverse mortgage schemes
are increasing and are putting this group in
danger of losing their homes when it’s not an
official refinancing option.
- SWEEPSTAKES The lure of
free money is appealing to anyone, and while the
scam is simple, it is commonly used. The con
will tell their victim they’ve won a lottery or
sweepstakes of some kind, and need to make a
payment to get the full prize. By the time the
person realizes the prize check is a fake, their
personal money is long gone.
- GRANDPARENTS A popular scam
now is the “Grandparent Scam” or the “Emergency
Scam.” This includes a caller pretending to be
the person’s grandchild, in need of emergency
money. The authorities are unsure how they are
getting the names of these people; but many
times, it’s easy enough to say “Hi, Grandma” and
the senior guesses which child it is. By the
time the emergency money is wired, usually to
Canada, it’s too late.
These and more scams are explained in detail at
this Web site: