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Understanding Popular Senior Scams That Target Your Loved Ones

Posted by HarborChase on Apr 8, 2019 8:00:00 AM | 3 minute read

HarborChase Seniors Avoiding Scams Blog

At HarborChase Senior Living, we value our residents, and love to share helpful information with them to improve their quality of life! In recent years, the popularity of senior scams is on the rise, and many older adults are being targeted and taken advantage of. With the risk of being scammed increasing, it is essential to work with your loved one to identify and avoid popular scams.

We want to highlight three popular scams that target seniors and pose a threat to their property, finances, or well-being. Be sure to share these scams with the senior in your life so they can stay informed and keep an eye out for these fraudulent schemes!

Telemarketing Fraud

Telemarketing fraud is a relatively common method of scamming, and many people are aware that callers aren’t always genuine. Although this method of scamming is easier to identify than others, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a threat to your loved one. Many telemarketing scammers will target older adults because they know that seniors are more vulnerable and unable to recognize a potential threat.

Advise your loved one to question everything when on the phone with a stranger. Whether they claim to be a long-lost friend, a neighbor, a business owner, or a millionaire, your loved one needs to be hesitant when releasing any personal information over the phone. Work with your loved one to identify safe callers and contact their phone company to request a “do not call” program that prevents your loved one from receiving suspicious calls.

HarborChase Seniors Avoiding Scams BlogReverse Mortgage Scams

According to the FBI, “Reverse mortgage scams are engineered by unscrupulous professionals in a multitude of real estate, financial services, and related companies to steal the equity from the property of unsuspecting senior citizens or to use these seniors to unwittingly aid the fraudsters in stealing equity from a flipped property. “

The risk of reverse mortgage scams is high for seniors that are having financial troubles because it’s common for people to become desperate in tense financial situations. When your loved one feels they have no other options, they could fall victim to scams that are similar to the reverse mortgage scam. Make sure to always urge the senior in your life to do business with reputable companies with an outstanding reputation. 

Ponzi Schemes

Ponzi schemes are scams that involve taking “investments” from seniors that are told the money is going to create high financial returns and dividends like traditional investments do. Instead of being invested, the money is then used to pay new investors, simulating dividend payouts. The FBI explains that “This type of fraud is named after its creator—Charles Ponzi of Boston, Massachusetts. In the early 1900s, Ponzi launched a scheme that guaranteed investors a 50 percent return on their investment in postal coupons. Although he was able to pay his initial backers, the scheme dissolved when he was unable to pay later investors. 

Helping your family member avoid being scammed is not always easy, but it’s definitely worth the trouble! You’re not only helping them save money and time, but you’re giving them advice that genuinely changes their life for the better. Work together, stay informed, and enjoy the pleasures of life without the risk of being scammed!


HarborChase Senior Living offers independent living, assisted living, memory care, and respite care at communities throughout the United States. We are committed to ensuring the safety of not only our residents, but of all older adults. For more helpful tips and resources on senior health and senior living, check out our free downloadable resources! 

Topics: Finances & Budgeting, Safety

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