5 On Your Side

Common scams target seniors

Posted July 13, 2015

Trusting senior citizens with a nest egg are the perfect targets for scammers, who steal billions of dollars from them every year.

The Better Business Bureau has a list of the most common scams perpetrated on seniors. Among the biggest is home repair fraud.

A scammer shows up claiming to be a repairman who “just noticed something” on a roof or driveway. Often, the work is never needed - and never completed.

Lottery scams are another issue. 5 On Your Side has heard from many people who got a bogus winnings check in the mail or answered a phone call promising one. Under the scam, the victim is asked to make a deposit then wire money to cover fees, insurance or taxes.

5 On Your Side also hears frequently from victims of another scam on the list: Medicare.

Someone claiming to be from Medicare calls and asks for personal information. But seniors should know that Medicare does not call and ask for that kind of information.

Another to watch for is the so-called grandparent scam. Thieves call in a panic, pretending to be with a family member in trouble who needs help from grandma or grandpa.

It's downhill from there. A local couple recently told 5 On Your Side that they were scammed out of $10,000.

Counterfeit drug scams also take advantage of seniors who search online for better prices on their medicines. They end up paying for fake meds that won't help their condition and may even harm their health.

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  • George Herbert Jul 15, 2015
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    My mother-in-law recently received a phone call for a computer repair scam. The guy was promising to speed up her Internet access. He hung up after she told him she didn't have a credit card because her son took care of all of her finances.