Scammers were extremely effective in gaining his trust, preying on his isolation to gain access to his confidential financial information. Worse, once he had gotten involved in a few of them, his name ended up on a "Sucker List" that was sold to other scammers, leading to an avalanche of other fraudulent offers.
One scam, in particular, has gained in popularity: a fake check, purporting to be an advance payment for winnings to come. The victim cashes the check, sends the cash to the scammer, and then is on the hook when the check bounces a few days later.
If your elderly relative is getting such calls and offers, here are some helpful tips from the article:
- Put their cell phone and landline on the FTC's Do Not Call Registry at https://www.donotcall.gov/.
- Call the AARP's Fraud Fighter Call Center at 1-800-646-2283.
- Put scam mailings into an envelope and forward them to the Postal Inspector-Suspected Mail Fraud -- no postage is required.
For more information on elder fraud and how to prevent it, see Long-Term Care, by Joseph Matthews (Nolo).