Seniors Losing Thousands of Dollars, Scammed By ‘Free Lunch’

August 22, 2012  |  

More bad news about people taking advantage of the elderly.

Seniors are being swindled out of an average of $140,500 after falling for all sorts of scams. The most common of them is a “free lunch” scheme, which promises a complimentary meal when older attendees show up. Ultimately they’re being sold fraudulent investments. The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards surveyed 2,649 financial planners and 73 percent of them said they know at least one senior citizen who fell for this.

More than half are also receiving cold calls and unsolicited emails with investment offers. Many are being overcharged for medical care. And they’re being tricked into participating in sweepstakes and contests that ask for personal banking information, which is used to siphon cash from the victims’ accounts.

Once again, this survey found that relatives and others that have a close relationship with their elderly victims are the committing these atrocious acts. But also, it’s a reminder that you must have a talk with your loved ones to make sure there’s no funny business going on.

Moreover, it’s worth it to sit down with older members of the family and warn them about the new variety of scams that they may fall prey to. Many older people don’t want to think they can fall for a financial trick, especially one that seems obvious. But the fact is there are some very creative people out there who have come up with new ways to get at people’s money. And they’re banking on an older person’s unfamiliarity with the Internet. It might not be something older and mostly wiser adults want to hear. But it’s worth more than $100,000 to try and send that message.

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