While the retirement years can be a time of leisure activities, service to the community, and simplified living, there are also some added challenges. Scammers and con artists are often more likely to target the elderly and senior citizens because they believe the elderly are less likely to prosecute them or to alert their relatives.
As we walk our clients through their retirement planning options, guarding their finances is a major part of guaranteeing they can live in a retirement community or 55+ living community that matches their lifestyles. Here are a few of the most common scams to watch out for:
SPOT THESE FREE OFFERS FOR SENIOR CITIZENS SCAM
Any offer of a free vacation, vitamins, medical products, or services that would otherwise be costly are a red flag for senior citizens. It’s not just a matter of something being too good to be true. If anyone offers a senior citizen a free product or service, we always advise to move forward with caution.
AVOID EMAIL AND PHISHING SCAMS FOR SENIORS
Email has been one of the most common formats for running a scam. In some cases the phishing email will ask for personal information and passwords. Other situations may involve a special offer or urgent investment opportunity.
The main idea is to avoid sharing personal information over email or through an email link. Look carefully at the sending addresses and always double check with a relative or friend to ensure the email is coming from a legitimate source. In addition, most companies are happy to answer your questions if you receive a concerning email.
BE PREPARED FOR THE FAKE IRS CALL
While people of all ages may receive a fake IRS call or voicemail from time to time, senior citizens are often targeted because they tend to have more money invested that could lead to tax complications. However, a serious IRS matter is usually handled through a letter, not a threatening phone call. Once again, there are official IRS websites and hotlines you can call to double check on any concerning activity.
WATCH OUT FOR CALLS FROM AN IMPOSTER
There are calls to seniors from time to time that impersonate a relative, claiming to be in jail in Canada or a popular vacation spot. These callers will often instruct senior citizens to wire them money from a local store. The callers attempt to play on the sympathy of senior citizens for their grandchildren, and they also emphasize the urgency of the situation. Regardless, it’s often critical for seniors to contact their relatives directly before taking any kind of action.
LEARN ABOUT HEALTHCARE AND MORTGAGE FRAUD FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
The ultimate goals for any scammer or con artist involving senior citizens are to gain access to their identity or finances. While a one time wire transfer may be effective for some scammers, others attempt to access bank accounts and credit cards.
Some of the most common ways to con senior citizens out of their hard-earned money are connected with medical insurance, especially Medicaid, and home mortgages. They may either promise better rates for a mortgage or a simple need to update information on file for an insurance provider.
ARE YOUR RETIREMENT LIVING OPTIONS SECURE?
We work with families week in, week out making retirement living plans and finding the best arrangements possible. Contact us today and we’ll walk you through the process of finding the right community in your area. Call 866-846-6272.