An 80-year-old widower lost $200,000 in an online romance scam in Oregon
The U. Embassy receives reports almost every day of fraud committed against U. Typically, the Russian correspondent asks the U. Embassy has received many reports of citizens losing thousands of dollars through such scams. American citizens are advised never to send money to anyone they have not met in person. Embassy in Moscow does not have the authorization to initiate investigations of these scams. Complete and authoritative information on applying for a U. Click on the questions below to be taken to the answer.
Senior Dating Scams to Avoid
We’ve all heard of on-line dating scams that try to get you to send money to someone in Ghana or Nigeria. But now, the number of people falling for those scams is growing at an alarming number. New statistics out for the last six months of show, more than 6, Americans say they were scammed after visiting online dating sites in the second half of last year. Many of those being targeted are senior citizens longing to get back in the dating pool. When Janet Cook went looking for love online, 17 years after losing her husband, she found someone on the very first day.
After four months of courtship including emails and phone calls, but never meeting in person, the man who claimed to be a contractor from Virginia was suddenly stuck somewhere in Africa and in serious trouble.
In , nearly 40 D.C. residents reported falling for online dating scams, for a combined loss of more than $92, And the criminal acts go.
Australians love a bet and sports betting scammers are quick to capitalise on this. They will say anything to draw you in. Inheritance scams can be quite elaborate to convince you that a fortune awaits. Remember there are no get-rich-quick schemes: if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. You need to have a clearly defined process for verifying and paying accounts and invoices to protect your business against false billing scams.
Scammers are highly skilled at deceiving their victims, and may even impersonate someone you know. Calls, emails and other approaches claiming that you have won an unexpected prize or a competition you did not enter are almost always scams. People from all walks of life can fall victim if the timing is right and the story is convincing. Skip to content Skip to navigation Skip to search. Breadcrumb Home Get help Listen.
Real life stories. Inheritance scam: Leo gives away his life savings trying to gain an inheritance. False billing: John updated supplier details and it ended up costing thousands. Travel prize scam: The holiday prize which nearly cost Nicole thousands of dollars.
It can be exciting to sign up for an online dating service for the first time. While most people on these services are there to find a potential date, online dating scams are becoming a real problem. Catfishing is a catch-all term for the practice of setting up fake online dating profiles to scam unsuspecting people.
Luckily, loads of internet dating websites have taken the requires of senior in the online romantic relationship scene caused by most romance scams goal the.
Every U. Mostly online scams, the FDA investigates upwards of 20 counterfeit prescription drug scams per year, up from five annually in the s. Not only are seniors losing money on fraudulent prescriptions, they may also harm themselves by taking unsafe substances rather than their real medication. Cheaper is not always better. The scammer plays on the grief of the bereaved family while seemingly being sympathetic.
Another situation that can happen is that disreputable funeral homes will take advantage of grieving families who are unfamiliar with the details around funeral costs, adding on unnecessary or fraudulent extras to the bill. They play on the grief of the bereaved family by reassuring them that they want the absolute best for their loved one, including a very expensive casket for a cremation when only a cardboard box is required.
In a society that stigmatizes aging, it is easy to understand why people may fall for scams that offer them the fountain of youth. Botox scams are particularly unsettling, because renegade labs creating versions of the real thing may still be working with the root ingredient, botulism neurotoxin, which is one of the most toxic substances known to science. A bad batch can have serious health consequences.
As a result, the consumer may also have to incur unexpected medical expenses to address any adverse effects in addition to paying for the fake Botox. Since many seniors are happy to talk to anyone willing to talk to them, phone scams are highly prevalent. Seniors also are more likely to purchase items over the telephone versus the internet, so there is no paper trail, making these transactions almost impossible to trace.
There are several types of telemarketing scams including:.
Financial Scams Against the Elderly – the $100M “Business” Targeting Retirees
File a Consumer Complaint. Senior Texans are targeted everyday through e-mail, regular mail and the telephone. Nearly every scam is designed to trick you into sending money or providing your personal information. The first way scammers do this is to get you to believe something good will happen to you like winning a prize if you do as they say. The other is by scaring you into believing something terrible has or will happen to you — like your home will be foreclosed on or you will be arrested — if you don’t do as they say.
There has been an influx of online dating recently but there have also been more scams.
By Aaron Task. Originally posted February 10, on Wealthy Retirement. And in addition to chocolates and roses, you should be on the lookout for scammers who take advantage of the lonely and brokenhearted. But even those figures are probably low. A classic romance scam works like this: Scammers set up an account on Facebook or an online dating site with fake pictures and profiles.
Naturally, they will make themselves look as appealing as possible. They will often stalk potential victims online, looking at profiles to learn as much about a person as possible.
Top Internet Scams Affecting the Elderly
District Court in Providence, R. It is alleged in Court documents that beginning in May , victims were contacted by scammers via online dating sites such as Plenty of Fish, Christian Mingle, and Our Time, and through social media platforms such as Words with Friends, often times feigning romantic intentions. The perpetrators of the scams gained the trust of their victims through any number of fraudulent representations, eventually convincing them to send money to bank accounts controlled by members of the conspiracy.
To date, 28 individuals in more than a dozen states have been identified as falling victim to the scams allegedly employed by the five individuals named in the charged conspiracy. United States Attorney Aaron L. Scammers will confuse, lie to, and steal from their victims with total disregard for the financial and emotional ruins they leave behind.
In these scams, scammers pretend to be from a government agency or well-known, trusted business and use threats to pressure or scare you into giving them.
The woman had scammed her father out of all of his savings. While most scams may not be as severe this one, the act of scamming elderly people is a massive problem in the United States. Scammers do not discriminate when it comes to who they try and get money out of: rich, poor, black, white, 65 and healthy, 85 and ailing. The American Journal of Public Health estimates that about 5 percent of the elderly population which equates to around two to three million people suffer from some sort of scam every year.
Scamming the elderly is a multi-billion dollar business for people around the U. This population is largely trustworthy and made up of financially fruitful people whose cognition may have decreased due to varying ailments. It may be far too late to do anything if a loved one finds out about it years later.
On one side, an elderly person could have millions of dollars at hand after saving for retirement and getting monthly pension checks and government benefits. Sometimes, the elderly simply get bullied into handing over money to scammers. Whether in-person or over the phone, a scammer could relentlessly press an elderly person for money until they break. As we age, we are more likely to have some sort of cognitive brain condition like dementia, which affects memory and overall cognitive function.
Scammers will attack these weaknesses. For instance, a scammer can call someone in their 80s pretending to be their grandchild. The elderly can simply get embarrassed by getting scammed, leading them to not report it to the authorities.
Are you scam savvy?
Sasha-Ann Simons. According to the FBI, romance scams result in the highest amount of financial losses to victims when compared to other internet crimes. The ideal partner turns out to be a sophisticated scam artist, and a love-struck single is left not only broken-hearted — but broke. Being scammed by a romantic interest met online is now the most common type of consumer fraud in the United States, according to the Federal Trade Commission FTC. In , nearly 40 D.
Romance scams are among the top ten frauds affecting Canadians according to a cheque or another form of payment from someone you’ve met online and they The CBA offers a free fraud prevention seminar for seniors as part of its Your.
Millions of people turn to online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money. Read about the stories romance scammers make up and learn the 1 tip for avoiding a romance scam. People reported losing more money to romance scams in the past two years than to any other fraud reported to the FTC.
Romance scammers create fake profiles on dating sites and apps, or contact their targets through popular social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, or Google Hangouts. The scammers strike up a relationship with their targets to build their trust, sometimes talking or chatting several times a day.
Romance Scam Targeting Seniors: How Romance Scams Work
Criminals follow wealth and older people tend to be very good at saving for retirement or owning equity in their homes to pass on to their children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, elderly people are also more prone to loneliness and isolation, as well as physical or mental capacity impairment, making them particularly vulnerable members of society. One such type of scam is online dating fraud.
Scammers typically befriend their victims online, often through reputable dating sites. The scammers use fake photos and.
Statistics show, however, that for most crimes, seniors are the least victimized group. Also, much of the crime that is directed at seniors occurs while they are out of the home, such as break and entering. However, when the crimes do occur, the consequences are often more severe for those at an advanced age. Many seniors live on a fixed income, so the loss of money or property is difficult to replace.
Also as people get older their bodies take longer to recover from injury, so an attack on a senior generally has a much more serious outcome than a similar attack would on a younger counterpart. As such, steps should be taken to reduce the chance that you could become a victim of crime. The related links on this website go into detail on how to best protect your home and yourself.