Financial scams targeting seniors range from Medicare and health insurance scams to others featuring counterfeit prescription drugs. We are all likely aware of email ransom-scams, the IRS scams making the rounds as well as funeral/cemetery scams and investment schemes. But did you know that your email, text messages and other communications can be hacked and the information sold ne’er-do-wells who will then use that information against you or sell it for use in a future scam?
In the next few posts, we’re going to look at why seniors are targeted and some of the most frequent scams against them. Think it can’t happen to you? Think again – truth be told, it can happen to ANY of us! Case in point…
A Scam Story that Struck Too Close to Home
A true story.
I have a friend who was visiting her mother on the other side of the country. While she was there, the mother, who had just turned 70, received a phone call from her daughter’s college roommate. The college roommate, we’ll call her Sarah, was extremely distressed and embarrassed. You see, while Sarah (the roommate) lives in New Jersey, the caller who was pretending to be Sarah, said, “I am out of town for a a wedding in Toronto, Canada and got a little too inebriated at the bachelorette party. I need a little help because I have landed myself in jail!”
Below is the story of the ensuing scam as it was explained it to me…
Diane, the police would tell us later that these scammers had hacked my mother’s email or Sarah’s email (my college roommate) and had cherry-picked enough specific details to allow them to pull off this very convincing scam. Because I just happened to be visiting my mother at the time, I got pulled into the web of deceit and as a 40+-year-old woman with a city-smart head on my shoulder, even I bought into the scheme. $1500 later my mother and I realized just how expertly we had been taken.
By sorting through information from the hacked emails in the same way “big data” collects and synthesizes electronic data, these scammers were able to determine that my mother and my college roommate were actually friends who stayed in regular contact with each other. The scammers knew that my college roommate lived in New Jersey, that she had a husband and two girls in high school. By using this, in conjunction with other personal information, they were able to convincingly CALL my mother and pretend to be Sarah. What followed was epic and something I think people need to know really CAN happen to them. Here’s why…
Keep reading the story… Click Here
Where to Start?
If you have questions about how to protect an aging relative from losing their hard-earned money to fraud, or feel overwhelmed because a loved one has passed away without benefit of a will or trust, the best place to start is with a call to my Los Gatos office at (408) 376-2755. Call to request an appointment.
You are welcome to Print this Free 30 Minute Legal Consultation Certificate.
Let’s get some of those questions answered!
Diane M. Brown, Esq.
Working every day to keep my clients out of court!
It’s your money… Let’s keep it that way!
This blog contains general information and is not meant to apply to a specific situation. Please seek advice of counsel before proceeding as each case is unique.