3 Rivers' Website Compass

4 WebsiteCompass Watch Out for These Common Scams Each of the following types of elder financial abuse have one thing in common: Someone wants to trick you out of your money. Pay close attention to how these scams work. Romance Scams In a romance scam, your heartstrings are the way in. The fraudster may pose as someone you could be interested in, gain your trust, and then find a way to ask for money—perhaps for some kind of emergency. Tech Support Cons Here the bad guys contact you with a fake problem concerning your technology, insisting they must step in to help you solve it. But first, they say, you must send them personal information or payments, or grant them access to your device. Grandparent Ploys In these cases, the scammer poses as a family member and contacts you asking for financial assistance to get them out of some kind of emergency. These criminals may know your family members’ names and personal information to make them seem like the real deal. Fake Prize Fraud Here the fraudster contacts you, claiming you’ve won a prize. They say that, in order to claim the prize, you must provide personal information or money to cover the cost of shipping. They may send you a (bad) check and request that you send part of the money back to them. Caregiver Schemes In these situations, a family member or caregiver may take money directly from your wallet or purse, or ask for money to cover a fake emergency expense. Signs That a Scam Could Be Underway While hypervigilance and extreme mistrust are probably not warranted, you should keep your eyes open for situations like these that display the “red flags” of fraud. • You win a contest you don’t remember entering. This is a clear sign that the contest, sweepstakes, or drawing is fraudulent. • The person you met online is “out of town” a lot. They could be genuinely busy, or more likely, they don’t want to meet because they’re not who they say they are. • There’s something off about the way a “family member” is communicating with you. You’ve never received a voice mail message from your grandkid before, and now they’ve left one asking for money. • You’re given odd instructions from someone you don’t know. For example, a stranger asks you to buy a gift card and send it to them. • You’re told there is a time limit on what you need to do. It could be anything from providing a payment to revealing personal information. QUICK TIP: If someone claiming to be a family member calls you with an emergency, check with others before believing their story. Feature Story