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5 Lesser Known Senior Scams and How To Avoid Falling Victim

In the digital age, scams and fraudulent activities are unfortunately on the rise, with senior citizens often being the prime targets. These unscrupulous acts exploit the vulnerability and trust of our elderly population, causing financial losses and emotional distress. As we age, it becomes increasingly important to stay informed and safeguard ourselves against such threats. In this blog, we’ve outlined five lesser-known senior scams, which often go unnoticed until it’s too late. By shedding light on these tactics, we aim to arm you with the knowledge and tools to effectively avoid becoming a victim. We encourage all readers to share this information with the seniors in your life, because awareness is the first step towards prevention.


  1. The Grandparent Scam: This scam exploits the love and concern grandparents have for their grandchildren. The scammer impersonates a grandchild in distress, typically via a phone call or email. They describe an urgent situation such as a car accident or legal trouble, and plead for immediate financial help. They often request for the matter to be kept secret from other family members, adding an element of isolation. They can sound convincing, sometimes using personal information gleaned from social media. Remember, it is always worth double-checking with other family members before sending any money.
  2. Medical Alert Scam: Scammers posing as companies offering free medical alert systems are becoming increasingly common. They use manipulative tactics such as claiming a loved one has already paid for the system, or that it’s endorsed by reputable healthcare organizations. The goal is to extract sensitive personal and financial information. Be extra cautious, and always independently verify any such claims before proceeding.
  3. Sweepstakes & Lottery Scam: In this scam, seniors are informed that they have won a lottery or sweepstakes and must pay a fee or taxes in order to claim the prize. This is typically conveyed through an official-looking letter or email. Remember, a legitimate sweepstakes or lottery will never ask for money up front.
  4. Tech Support Scam: Scammers will pose as technology support representatives from well-known companies, claiming that the senior’s computer or phone has a virus or other issue. They request remote access to the device to “fix” the problem, but instead, they install malicious software to steal personal information. Remember, reputable tech companies rarely reach out first to offer unsolicited tech support.
  5. Romance Scam: Becoming more common with the rise of online dating and social networking sites, scammers create fake profiles to form a relationship with the senior. Over time, they request large amounts of money, often for a supposed personal crisis or to plan a meet-up that never occurs. Be cautious of online relationships where the person asks for money, particularly if you have never met them in person.

Senior scams are not limited to the examples we’ve provided here. Criminals come up with new ways to exploit people every day, but with just a few precautions, you can avoid falling victim to them. Always question anyone who asks for money or personal information – especially if they contacted you first – and consider seeking advice from trusted friends and family members before making any important financial decisions. Remember, it’s always better to be too cautious than to be caught in a scam.