There are several financial scams that are primarily targeted at seniors and older adults. The top scams appear to be the following:
Fake Prescription Drugs
The growth of eCommerce on the Internet provides an easy and convenient way to shop for almost anything that can be purchased in a store. This includes prescriptions. While there are many legitimate pharmaceuticals sold on the Web there are a number of counterfeit prescriptions offered as well.
Because many older adults are on fixed incomes they may search the Web for the lowest available prescription prices. And some of these are counterfeit.
The scam 1. may put the Senior in danger by not providing a required medication. 2. cheats the Senior by taking payment for a known worthless or dangerous counterfeit medication.
Fake Anti-Aging Products
As with fake prescription drugs these worthless or dangerous anti-aging products may be sold on the Web. They may also be provided by infomercials or in some stores.
With an ever-increasing interest in “staying and looking young” some older adults buy these fake products.
Reverse Mortgage Scam
In this scam the scammers offer unsecured reverse mortgages to homeowners. The homeowners provide the title to their homes in exchange for money or another home, which may result in the loss of their home.
Homeowner Reassessment Scams
Posing as representatives of the Tax Assessors office the scammers offer to reduce the assessment of a home thus reducing related taxes, for a fee. Trusting homeowners pay the fee to reduce the assessment. Obviously the re-assessment/tax reduction never occurs.
Homeowner Repair Scams
Scammers scout out homes owned by older adults and then come to their front doors to try to sell them repairs/services that they don’t need (new roofs, driveways, etc.)
Various investments scams have been uncovered in recent years with the Madoff case being the most prominent. Scammers call older adults offering guaranteed returns on money invested with their firms. If it is too good to be true it probably is.
Personal Information Scams
The purpose of this scam is to get an older adult to provide personal information (social security #, bank account numbers, Medicare number, credit card numbers, etc.).
This information is then used for various purposes including billing Medicare for non-existing services and products, purchasing products on stolen credit cards, etc.