Financial scams are becoming more common and targeting senior citizens, according to the National Council on Aging.
Many of our elderly loved ones aren’t aware of these types of scams. It’s important for elderly people to not remain targets of fraudsters.
Here are the top 5 financial scams targeting seniors, according to the NCOA:
Medicare/health insurance scams
Perpetrators may pose as a Medicare representative to retrieve personal information, or try to provide false service to the elderly at “makeshift mobile clinics.” The fraudster will then use the personal information they’re given to bill Medicare and pocket a fee, according to the NCOA.
Counterfeit prescription drugs
Since 2000, the Food and Drug Administration has investigated an average of 20 cases per year, which has increased since the 1990s, the NCOA reports.
Counterfeit drug scams are often found on the internet. Some senior citizens use the internet to search for specialized drugs or drugs at a discounted price.
Aside from paying money to scammers, these drugs can cause more harm than good on the body.
Funeral and cemetery scams
The FBI says there are two types of funeral and cemetery scams.
Scammers may attend a funeral and take advantage of the family by claiming the deceased person had an outstanding debt that needs to be paid.
The other common scam is funeral directors will add additional charges for the funeral arrangements. Even if it’s a cremation the director might still push for the family to purchase a casket. However, cremations can be done in a cardboard casket.
Fraudulent anti-aging products
Many people try to fit into society’s “beauty norms,” so scammers see this as an opportunity to mooch off of senior citizens.
Beauty treatments and medications are often used to maintain a youthful appearance. For example, Botox scams are common and a bad batch of these harmful chemicals hitting the surface of your skin can cause several health risks, according to the NCOA.
The most common scheme are the phone scams.
Fraudsters are posing as loved ones, fake charities or even a banker to target the elderly and create a quick get-rich scheme.
The majority of phone scammers will ask the victim to wire or transfer the money onto a gift card and read them the gift card number.
With no face-to-face interaction and no paper trail, these scams become more difficult to trace, according to the NCOA.
This report includes information from the National Council on Aging.