NEW YORK (6/3/14)--While scams keep changing, the targets stay the same. Seniors continue to be the marks of a variety of low-risk crimes that prey on their sense of duty and exploit their fear of cognitive loss (The New York Times May 23).
One recent scam involved someone posing as a courthouse clerk calling to inform a potential target that she had failed to show up for jury duty. If she didn't immediately pay a fine, the caller warned, police would show up at her house to arrest her.
The Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection logged 1.1 million consumer fraud complaints in 2013; 47% of the victims were age 50 or older, with a median payout of $400 per complaint.
Retirees make ripe targets because they have access to cash via retirement savings and equity in their homes.
Here is what to do to avoid being targeted:
For related information, read "Identify Signs of Elder Financial Abuse" in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.