Scams can take on many forms, make sure you are aware of what they look like! 

People over the age of sixty are especially prone to being targets of these scams because they are more financially secure, more trusting, and can sometimes be confused. Continue reading to see what these five scams used against older individuals look like: 


Grandparent Scam
The love for a grandchild can be immensely powerful. Unfortunately, many scammers will abuse this. A scammer will call a grandparent and ask if they recognize the voice. Once the grandparent has guessed a name of a grandchild that sounds like the scammer, the scammer has established a fake identity. They will then typically ask for money due to an “unexpected accident” such as overdue rent, medical bills, or car repairs. They will want the funds via Western Union or MoneyGram and will insist that the grandparent not tell the parents.  

Puppy Scam
Seniors that have recently experienced the loss of a loved one are the main target of this scam. The scammer will post a picture of a puppy along with a heartfelt story about how the pet needs to be adopted ASAP. The puppy is usually incredibly low priced, but after the older person contacts the “seller,” there are several fees such as adoption, shipping costs, insurance costs, specialized veterinary care, and much more. The scammer will want these fees paid via wire transfer or prepaid debit cards. In reality, there is no puppy and the individual’s money is gone.  

Tech Support Scam
Scammers will pose as customer support representatives and will offer to resolve an issue such as a computer virus or compromised email. These scammers will also post phony customer support phone numbers for well-known companies and people will call these numbers because they do need computer help. The scammer will remotely access the computer and “troubleshoot” the issue. They will then ask for money for repairs and service contracts. However, the issues will never be resolved. 

Online Romance Scam 
It can be hard to believe your new love is a scammer, but it happens more than you think. Scammers will create fake dating profiles on social media. They will then claim they live out of the country or make last minute excuses as to why they cannot meet in person. These scammers will claim they have a medical emergency, unexpected expense, or need financial help planning a trip. They will typically want the money wired or given the card number to a gift card/reloadable cash card.  

Email/Phishing Scam
Many people are familiar with this scam, but it is still important to be informed. An older individual will receive an email that seem legitimate, asking for them to update or verify their information. An example of this might be the “IRS” emailing a senior asking them to update their information for a tax refund. However, the IRS will never send an email like this.  

*Information sourced from the Credit Union National Association 

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