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What are some common financial scams aimed at older people?

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2024 | Elder Law

Shielding oneself from financial scams is important, especially for older folks who might be more susceptible to schemes. Sadly, scammers often target this group because they think they are easier to trick.

The first step to combating this is to learn about some typical financial scams.

Grandparent scams

One common trick is the grandparent scam. Scammers pretend to be a grandchild in trouble, stating that they got arrested or are facing an emergency. They play on the emotions of grandparents, who trust and love their grandchildren. These scammers pressure older individuals into sending money fast, but later the grandparents realize someone tricked them.

Phishing and email scams

In today’s digital world, phishing and email scams are everywhere. Scammers send fake emails that look real, pretending to be from banks or government agencies, asking for personal or money details. Elders might give away sensitive information without knowing it, leading to identity theft or financial loss.

Investment fraud scams

Some scammers promise huge returns with little risk to older people looking to invest their money. They persuade investors to put their savings into fake schemes or Ponzi schemes. Sadly, these people often find out too late that their money is gone.

Sweepstakes and lottery scams

Scammers tempt elderly individuals with big prizes or lottery winnings. They say the older person has won a lot of money but needs to pay fees or taxes upfront to get it. Once they send the money, the prize never shows up.

Tech support scams

Some scammers target older adults who are not familiar with technology. They pretend to be tech support, say there is a problem with the person’s computer and then they offer to fix it for a fee. However, there is usually no problem, and elders end up paying for nothing or giving away personal information.

Charity scams

Charity scams play on older people’s kindness by asking for donations for fake causes. They make up sad stories or use names similar to real charities to fool donors into giving money. Sadly, the scammers pocket it instead.


By staying cautious when interacting with new people, elders can help keep their finances safe. Taking proactive protections against these kinds of scams may allow older individuals to feel more at peace when spending their money.