The woman had scammed her father out of all of his savings. While most scams may not be as severe this one, the act of scamming elderly people is a massive problem in the United States. Scammers do not discriminate when it comes to who they try and get money out of: rich, poor, black, white, 65 and healthy, 85 and ailing. The American Journal of Public Health estimates that about 5 percent of the elderly population which equates to around two to three million people suffer from some sort of scam every year. Scamming the elderly is a multi-billion dollar business for people around the U. This population is largely trustworthy and made up of financially fruitful people whose cognition may have decreased due to varying ailments.
When Romance Is a Scam
It can be exciting to sign up for an online dating service for the first time. While most people on these services are there to find a potential date, online dating scams are becoming a real problem. Catfishing is a catch-all term for the practice of setting up fake online dating profiles to scam unsuspecting people. These phony dating profiles are often, but not always, set up by someone overseas. The profile will probably look legitimate because these scammers often steal photos and names of real people and carefully craft the profile to make it seem like a real person.
This person may contact you over messenger on the dating service, and over time you might develop feelings for them.
The United States Federal Trade Commission External link disclaimer hosts a page dedicated to romance and online dating scams: It highlights.
Sasha-Ann Simons. According to the FBI, romance scams result in the highest amount of financial losses to victims when compared to other internet crimes. The ideal partner turns out to be a sophisticated scam artist, and a love-struck single is left not only broken-hearted — but broke. Being scammed by a romantic interest met online is now the most common type of consumer fraud in the United States, according to the Federal Trade Commission FTC.
In , nearly 40 D. And the criminal acts go beyond city and state borders, involving networks of accomplices overseas. Like many victims of online scams, Ann has kept her story private for the past three years, overwhelmed by feelings of shame. The vibrant year-old from Reston was once a homeowner making good money.
The Senior’s Guide to Online Safety
Like all powerful tools, the Internet and mobile technologies come with some risks. These risks can be managed as long as you follow some basic rules of the road. So, for all the great things we cover in this guide, we also go over some precautions to help keep you safe. You may remember spending a lot of money on long distance calls and keeping them as short as possible to keep costs down, but now you can call just about anywhere in the world for free or a couple of cents a minute, and make free video calls with services like Skype, Apple FaceTime, Google Voice and Facebook Messenger.
For better or worse, old-fashioned letters have been largely but not completely replaced by email.
Any medical breakthrough will not be first reported through unsolicited emails or online ads. 3. Rely on official sources for the most up-to-date.
Statistics show, however, that for most crimes, seniors are the least victimized group. Also, much of the crime that is directed at seniors occurs while they are out of the home, such as break and entering. However, when the crimes do occur, the consequences are often more severe for those at an advanced age. Many seniors live on a fixed income, so the loss of money or property is difficult to replace. Also as people get older their bodies take longer to recover from injury, so an attack on a senior generally has a much more serious outcome than a similar attack would on a younger counterpart.
As such, steps should be taken to reduce the chance that you could become a victim of crime. The related links on this website go into detail on how to best protect your home and yourself. In the past few years, more and more cases of abuse of the elderly have been brought to attention of the general public. What makes these crimes even worse for seniors is that the perpetrators generally are those close to them — family, friends, or their appointed caregivers. If you or any senior that you know of are the victim of any type of abuse, contact the local authorities.
For the past few years, a number of home invasion incidents have garnered a large amount of media attention. While these incidents are few in number, they tend to have severe consequences. If you are a victim of a home invasion, try to co-operate as much as possible, possessions can be replaced, they are not worth your health.
3 On Your Side Investigates: Elderly Internet Dating Scam
Australians love a bet and sports betting scammers are quick to capitalise on this. They will say anything to draw you in. Inheritance scams can be quite elaborate to convince you that a fortune awaits. Remember there are no get-rich-quick schemes: if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
Keep an eye out for these common scams. Catfishing scam. Catfishing is when someone steals from a person they are ‘dating‘ online. Today, many seniors turn to.
These sites direct traffic to another site to capture personal information that can later be used to commit fraud and identity theft. Make sure your first line of defense knows:. This is a good opportunity to educate bankers and seniors alike on these new pandemic-related scams and how to maintain a watchful eye. Your bank can start helping seniors by passing along these 10 tips to help them become aware of scams:. Watch out for phishing scams. Phishing scams use fraudulent emails, texts, phone calls and websites to trick users into disclosing private account or login information.
Do not click on links or open any attachments or pop-up screens from sources you are not familiar with, and NEVER give your password, account number or PIN to anyone.
What You Need to Know About Romance Scams
The FBI is advising consumers to be wary when using online dating sites after the agency saw a 70 percent annual increase in reported romance scams. Cybercriminals are reportedly using online dating sites to trick victims into sending money, providing personal and financial information, or even unknowingly acting as a money mule by relaying stolen funds. Learn these tips for keeping yourself—and your financial accounts—better protected when meeting people online.
Romance scams, also called confidence scams, are when a bad actor deceives a victim into believing they have a trusted relationship and then uses the relationship to persuade the victim to give money, personal and financial information, or items of value to the perpetrator. The initial grooming phase can last for days, weeks, or even months , and by that time, the victim may be extremely vulnerable to the scam.
An elderly widower in Oregon lost $ in an online romance scam, and state officials are warning residents not to be the next victims.
A gateway to the strategies, policies, programs and services delivered by the Department of Health and Human Services. Make use of discounts when in New Zealand, and e-Gift Card offers. Seniors Card holders can access free and concession public transport. Browse videos from our information and get involved collection, and get in the groove with the Victorian Seniors Festival reimagined.
Gerard Mansour is a highly respected and passionate advocate for the needs of older people. With over 30 years of leadership experience within the aged and wider community services sectors, Mr Mansour contributed significantly to industry capacity building, policy development and enhancement of services for older Australians.
Most of the defendants are Nigerians, the Associated Press reported. Attorney Nick Hanna told a news conference. Army captain in his efforts to smuggle himself and his friends out of Syria. The woman met him online and had been emailing for 10 months. There was no such army captain.
Using social media, email and online dating sites, romance scammers use these platforms to create relationships with people in the hope that this bond gives.
By Denise Montgomery. The United States Federal Trade Commission hosts a page dedicated to romance and online dating scams: It highlights the most common lies that should raise red flags, including the most common lies current scammers are telling. Sometimes messages and emails may arrive like bouquets of flowers—by the dozens—in early days. But they have been so attentive, affectionate, and giving to people who are generally starved of human connection, the stage is set. Next, for reasons that also sound plausible, but which would fall apart under logical questioning, the scammer needs money.
The need for the cash is always personal, immediate, critical, time-sensitive, and always unverifiable. The point is, scammers will need your money. You the victim will be the only possible source from which they can access money. Not only do romance scammers suddenly and urgently need your money—they will have no compunction thanking you for your generosity by immediately telling you they also need it in specific forms.
The requested forms of payment will be untraceable, irreversible, instant, and anonymous :. And now that you know the signs, what will you do differently?
Dating Red Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore
File a Consumer Complaint. Senior Texans are targeted everyday through e-mail, regular mail and the telephone. Nearly every scam is designed to trick you into sending money or providing your personal information.
Protect yourself with these tips we’ve drawn up for how to remain alert and on the lookout for online dating scams.
The year-old man was “catfished” out of the money after an unidentified person posed as a Florida woman to befriend him, according to the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services. The alleged scammer spent months speaking with the widower under the pretense of engaging in a long-distance romantic relationship. Andrew Stolfi, administrator for the Division of Financial Regulation, said that romance scams typically target the elderly through social media and dating sites.
The widower believed he was investing in an art gallery in Florida and received fabricated museum and bank statements, the department said. He believed his money was being used for the shipping costs of a ton lion sculpture from China, but would get a percentage of the profits from the sale of the sculpture in return. The department did not have any identifying information on the suspect and would not name the dating service in its report, department spokesman Brad Hilliard told NBC News Thursday.
Decision Coronavirus U. Follow NBC News. Breaking News Emails Get breaking news alerts and special reports.
The U. Embassy receives reports almost every day of fraud committed against U. Typically, the Russian correspondent asks the U. Embassy has received many reports of citizens losing thousands of dollars through such scams. American citizens are advised never to send money to anyone they have not met in person. Embassy in Moscow does not have the authorization to initiate investigations of these scams.
In , nearly 40 D.C. residents reported falling for online dating scams, for a combined loss of more than $92, And the criminal acts go.
Scamming is big business in Canada — and scams against the elderly are unfortunately becoming increasingly widespread. These are just the reported scams, however; the true figure is estimated to be much higher. So you know what to look out for, here are the top scams targeting the elderly, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre , along with advice on how to protect yourself from them. While this is not a scam exclusively targeting the elderly, retirees are often the victims.
Scammers typically befriend their victims online, often through reputable dating sites. The scammers use fake photos and identities to fool their victim and use emails or phone calls to convince them that this is a real relationship. Often claiming to be temporarily overseas, they use grand displays of affection and professions of love. Canadian lottery scams, or prize scams, target the elderly by phone, email, mail or even social media, informing them that they have won a lottery or sweepstake.
They then ask for a fee to cover taxes or legal fees.
Seniors seeking love find “romance scammers” instead
The Internet provides numerous opportunities for seniors to meet people, conduct business, plan travel, access records, stay in touch with friends and family, and support hobbies and entertainment interests. You can learn how to take advantage of the opportunities without falling prey to predators so you can have peace of mind when you go online. Factors that contribute to increased risks for seniors. Every age group has unique vulnerabilities in addition to general Internet risks, and seniors are no exception.
Few entirely new types of scams are created to target seniors; the issue lies in how existing scams are tailored specifically to exploit older Internet users. In addition to being targeted for different types of crime, seniors may share characteristics that make them vulnerable online.
However, elderly people, women, and those who have lost a spouse are often targeted. A New Twist: Dating Sites Used to Recruit Money Mules.
Typically the victim and criminal will meet through a social media or dating site. The criminal will then try to develop a relationship with his or her victim, sometimes spending several months making the victim feel they are in a romantic relationship. Often the scammer will say that they are another city or country and that they eventually want to meet the victim in person.
The requests for help are a scam and the money wired by the victim, often in large amounts, is now in the hands of the criminal. Bank staff are aware of these kinds of scams and are trained to pay attention if a customer makes an unusual transaction — for example, withdrawing more money than usual. However, you are ultimately responsible for any funds that you withdraw from your bank account. The CBA offers a free fraud prevention seminar for seniors as part of its Your Money Seniors financial literacy seminar program.
Request a fraud prevention seminar today! All Rights Reserved. Related articles. Fraud Prevention. Posted on: September 22,