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Top Five Scams That Target Retirees

Written by Ilyce Glink on April 18, 2014 in Retirement  |   No comments

According to Fraud.org, a project of the National Consumers League, 26 percent of scam victims are aged 55 and older. Lonely or unprotected retirees are easy targets for fraudsters, who often prey on retirees’ need for companionship or cash. “They can be desperate for company,…

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According to Fraud.org, a project of the National Consumers League, 26 percent of scam victims are aged 55 and older. Lonely or unprotected retirees are easy targets for fraudsters, who often prey on retirees’ need for companionship or cash.

“They can be desperate for company, money, or stability, and when people are desperate in any kind of situation they do desperate things,” says Sharane Gott, president of the Better Business Bureau in Acadiana, La.

Here are five scams that target retirees:

1. Lottery and sweepstakes scams. The fake check scam is the most common across all age groups, according to Fraud.org’s Top Scams of 2013 report. For retirees, this scam usually comes in the form of a so-called “lottery win.” A victim is notified that he or she has won the lottery and needs to pay taxes up front. The victim receives a fake check, which he or she deposits into a bank account. Then the victim wires money to the scammer for the supposed tax charges. The fake check bounces, and the victim loses the money that was wired to the scammer—in addition to whatever amount is owed to the bank for the fake...

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