Scams Target You - Protect Yourself

Financial scams targeting seniors have become so prevalent that they’re now considered “the crime of the 21st century.” Why? Because seniors are thought to have a significant amount of money sitting in their accounts.

Financial scams also often go unreported or can be difficult to prosecute, so they’re considered a “low-risk” crime. However, they’re devastating to many older adults and can leave them in a very vulnerable position with little time to recoup their losses.

It’s not just wealthy seniors who are targeted. Low-income older adults are also at risk of financial abuse. And it’s not always strangers who perpetrate these crimes. Over 90% of all reported elder abuse is committed by an older person’s own family members, most often their adult children, followed by grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and others.

With so many scams targeting older adults, it’s essential to make yourself and your loved ones aware of the different types of cons. Here is a list of common financial scams that specifically target the elderly and how you can prevent them:

Top 10 Financial Scams Targeting Seniors: 

  • Medicare/health scam
  • Counterfeit prescription drugs
  • Funeral & cemetery scam
  • Fraudulent anti-aging products
  • Telemarking/phone scams
  • Internet fraud
  • Investment schemes
  • Homeowner/reverse mortgage scams
  • Sweepstakes & Lottery scams
  • The grandparent scam


If you suspect you've been the victim of a scam...

Don't be afraid or embarrassed to talk about it with someone you trust. You are not alone, and there are people who can help. Doing nothing could only make it worse. Keep handy the phone numbers and resources you can turn to, including the local police, your bank, and Adult Protective Services. Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission at or 1-877-382-4357. 

Avoiding Scams...

Do not give out any personal information or money if any of the following is prevalent: 

  • Something sounds too good to be true- like free stuff or quick, easy money
  • You're asked to give out personal or back account information
  • You aren't given long to make a decision or feel pressured into making one immediately
  • You're contacted unexpectedly by a company or person you have never heard of
  • You’re asked to pay anything up-front
  • The only contact details are a mobile phone number or a PO box address