In the past months we have seen a rise in the reported scams that target the elderly. These scams usually begin with a phone call from someone that tells the victims they are with “US Mega Millions” or some other catchy name that indicates a large payoff. They tell the victim that in order to receive the money, new car, or whatever they have won they must first send money or pay the taxes. Many times they will ask the victim to send money by western union to a foreign country and then they will receive the reward. Other times the person will tell the victim to send the money by way of a money card that can be purchased and loaded with money. These scammers give the victims fake names or a name they stole from social media along with photographs from that person’s social media site.
Other scams use scare tactics or threats of arrest to trick victims into sending money. The most popular of these scams we have seen lately is where the victim receives a phone call from a person that claims to be with the IRS and that the victim must send money right away or they will have a warrant issued for their arrest. IRS does not call and threaten arrest or lawsuits.
Regardless of the method they are using these scams often victimize the elderly for hundreds or sometimes thousands of dollars. We should all be vigilant to safeguard our elderly family members who are the most vulnerable to these scams by reminding them that these scams are out there and not to send money to them.