A conversation that has come up repeatedly for me lately is the number of elderly people being scammed over the phone for money. Phone scams are nothing new, but just a reminder to keep an eye on your older friends and relatives who may fall victim to this popular mode of theft.
Here’s what to look for
The premise is an old one and perfect for more mature victims. The phone rings and someone tells Aunt Gertrude that her grandson is in the hospital in Mexico where he has been on a mission trip. The doctors are demanding money to treat him and you must wire $_____ (you name it) to this bank account in order for Ebenezer Junior to get his urgent medical care.
Sometimes the financial requests are truly bizarre. I heard of one recently where the thieves demanded the victim buy a Best Buy or other gift card and mail it. By the time someone figures out what’s up, the gift card has been spent and the scammers are untraceable.
If you are looking after an older friend of relative, remind them of this common scam and encourage them to call you for help if they are ever asked for money over the phone.