Top 10 Scams Targeting Seniors

There truth is that there is this misconception that old people have money. Some do, but plenty more don’t. Scam artists relentlessly prey on gullible people, but more so the elderly. Scams targeting seniors are common. That is because fraudsters know that many of them are lonely. Old folk are often only too willing to chat with ‘someone nice and friendly’. And they are even willing to part with sensitive information.

Favourite Scams Targeting Seniors and Tricking Them Out of Their Money

We need to prevent seniors from losing all their money and their pride. These top 10 scams targeting seniors are ‘red flags’. They help protect the elderly parents from those trying to get their hands on their money and other ‘useful’ information.

  • Many elderly people fall for scams that rob them of their social grant money. People claim to be Social Security Agency officials, pretending to do surveys of elderly beneficiaries collecting their social grants at pay points. They ask to see an ID number and secret pin and give the old people stolen cards in exchange for this. Beneficiaries are urged not to ever share their ID numbers, cards or pins with ANYONE.
  • Looking for work? Old people look for ways to supplement their dwindling savings. They look out for  work-from-home jobs. Jobs are advertised as filling envelopes for instance, and to do this menial task the employer will pay a tidy sum…but first you must  part with $12 towards admin fees. Once the money has been paid in to commence work, they never hear from the ’employer’ again.Scams Targeting Seniors
  • Charity emails are sent to seniors soliciting contributions. The scam artists actually use the names of legitimate charities complete with ‘legit’ links to these charities. Many older people unwittingly part with their bank account numbers as well as other information.


More Scams Targeting Seniors

  • Seniors with failing health will do anything to get affordable medicines. They buy prescription and over-the-counter drugs on the Internet from companies not operating legally. These companies have websites which look legit. They often sell drugs with toxic ingredients in them and which come from unnamed and unreliable sources.
  • Many old people, in their loneliness, look for companionship online and fall hook, line and sinker for the lies and fabricated stories of con artists. They pay for membership on dating sites and spend months building up relationships. The con artists then start weaving sob-stories about financial problems and seniors are too ready to part with their money just to maintain the ‘friendship’.
  • SMS messages are a popular way of scamming old people. Scammers use fraudulent registration details and send out unsolicited SMSs to victims telling them they have won a competition and to contact someone for their prize. The scammer makes money out of the fees charged for the calls.
  • Sometimes gullible seniors are even invited to travel to a  foreign country to meet scammer to ‘claim’ their prize, and are instead held for ransom.
  • Some old people park their cars  and go into the shops. While there, the scammer disables the car in some way or the other. When the old person returns, the scamster is there to offer their help and repair the car for a substantial cash reward.
  • Offers to Fix Geysers etc – Scammers often cruise neighbourhoods dressed in the appropriate uniforms and say they’ve been sent to ‘fix’ the geyser or electrical wiring for a substantial fee.


Time is of the Essence

If you have been a victim of a scam, or you know of an old person who is vulnerable and could fall for a scam, warn them because time is of an essence and you can save them the torment of looking into their bank accounts and finding a nil balance.


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All info was correct at time of publishing