World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was June 15th, unfortunately, scammers are scamming every day and our awareness needs to be 365 days a year. These schemes against seniors are performed over e-mail, telephone, and even door-to-door advertising. They take the form of alleged credit card offers, charity donations, home improvement offers, investment opportunities, banking and wire transfers, insurance offers, health products, sweepstakes, funeral scams, the grandparent scam, Social Security scam, and the IRS scam, just to name a few.
Sorry to say that I am aware of a few instances of scams or schemes that have occurred to both family and friends. Such as the grandparent scheme, where a caller calls the grandparent saying “Hi Grandma, do you know who this is?” When the unsuspected grandparent guesses the name of the grandchild the scammer most sounds like, the scammer has established a fake identity. Now the scammer asks for money to pay for a speeding ticket or some other extremely urgent reason like rent or car repairs. Next the scammer provides instructions to send cash Western Union or MoneyGram. The grandparent now possibly confused but concerned, rushes to a money transfer location to send off the cash.
Whenever you feel the least bit suspicious or have that gut feeling that something is not right with a phone call, personal visit, email, or anything else, try a Google search about your suspicion or give us a call and let us help you. Keep handy phone numbers of the local police, your bank and Adult Protective Services. You can find your local contact for Adult Protective Services at https://eldercare.acl.gov or 800-677-1116.