Isolation a key part of scamming older people | #romancescams


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I sometimes wonder about the need to name a “day” to draw attention to a cause. However, in this case, the cause is one that needs attention: protecting older Americans from abuse. June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, launched in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization, according to the University of Southern California’s Center for Elder Justice (tinyurl.com/3k6y3phy).

There is no question that scammers prey on older people. The FBI reports that every year, “millions of elderly Americans fall victim to some type of financial fraud or confidence scheme, including romance, lottery, and sweepstakes scams, to name a few.” (See the link to “Scams and Safety: Elder Fraud” at the end of this column).

Here is an example of a scam that can attract the attention of an innocent senior as it relates to Social Security. Someone poses as a Social Security employee and contacts the target with a story that implies that the senior’s Social Security number is linked to a crime.



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