4 Financial Scams all Senior Citizens should know about

As senior citizens get closer to retirement, scammers see them as financial prey. Learn about different financial scams so you can protect your money.

Image courtesy Logical Position/Summit Art Creations

By Dan Coconate

Special to Financial Independence Hub

Approaching retirement is an exciting time for senior citizens. You’re about to experience the golden years of your life and have worked hard to save up a nest egg to enjoy this relaxing time.

Unfortunately, many scammers know that you probably have that nest egg, and they want to drain it. Scammers are growing increasingly creative in how they target people. All senior citizens should know about the following four financial scams so they can see through this creative criminal behavior.

Loved-One Impersonation

While some technology has changed the world for the better, some has fallen into the hands of criminals. Scammers can now use various voice-changing and phone-cloning technology to impersonate the people we know and love. They often pretend to be a loved one who is in a sudden difficult situation, such as a grandchild in need of bail money or a friend stuck on an overseas trip.

Before you try to help your loved one, verify who and where they are through another communication channel. For example, contact your grandchild’s parents to check where the family is or hang up and call your friend on the number saved in your phone.

Dating-Service Swindle

The retirement years open up free time for seniors, which is a boon when you’re looking for a special someone to date. However, many scammers know that senior citizens may not be as tech-savvy when it comes to the personals. They create fake profiles on dating websites and try to foster a connection with the senior. Before the relationship can develop in-person, they mention financial trouble or ask for money.

The best way to avoid scams while looking for love is to meet prospective dates in person after getting to know them either through email or phone/video conversations. Arrange to meet in a public place that you’re familiar with. But above all, don’t share financial information or lend/give money.

Job-Interview Scam

Everyone should have a chance to love what they do. As you get ready to retire from one career, you may consider transitioning to a job you love instead of a job you need. Unfortunately, scammers can create fake job posts and even hold fake interviews so they can offer you a job. Once you accept, they request your financial information so they can supposedly start your human resources paperwork.

Luckily, you can protect yourself from common job search scams. Research the company that’s interviewing you as well as the person you’re communicating with. Verify the corporate email address. If you’re still uncertain, ask someone else to read the communications to detect strange tones or other scam indicators.

Dishonest-Contractor Con

Since you’re going to enjoy your retirement years in your home, you may figure now is the perfect time to fix it up. Contractors know this inclination, and dishonest ones decide it’s the perfect opportunity to scam you. They may ask for large payments upfront, or they may start work but never return to finish it.

Always find multiple contractors or companies in your area before hiring anyone for work. Request quotes and references so you know what honest pay is and who does a good job.

All senior citizens should know about these four financial scams, as well as others. Scammers and other bad actors think they can outsmart seniors and take away their hard-earned money. As long as you keep a discerning eye out for these rip-off artists, you can safeguard your nest egg and enjoy your retirement.

Dan Coconate is a local Chicagoland freelance writer who has been in the industry since graduating from college in 2019. He currently lives in the Chicagoland area where he is pursuing his multiple interests in journalism.

Leave a Reply