Elder Scams – How to Identify & Avoid Them

elder scams

Where oh Where Has my Bank Account Gone? Where oh Where Can it be? 

This heading is based on the age-old children’s song – Where oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?
When it’s about a little dog, it’s cute. When it’s about seniors and their savings, it is far from cute!

Seniors are more vulnerable to scams and fraud than any other age group.

They are the prime targets of dishonest individuals who are always on hand to take advantage of this group which, besides age, includes the mentally or physically disabled.

The FBI released a report showing that seniors lose billions of dollars annually to many different types of elder scams.

Because of this report, Kabb Law wants to make sure that you are aware of how seniors are scammed, the various types of elder scams, and how to recognize them and protect yourselves from them.

Common Elder Scams to be Aware of

Phone & Email Phishing Scam

The most common types of elder scams are phone and email scams.

When scammers target the elderly by phone, they usually pretend to be someone the senior knows, such as their bank, insurance company, or a government agency.

By using high pressure tactics, scammers will convince seniors to give them their personal information such as their banking information, social security numbers, and medical information. This is called a “phishing scam”. It results in identity theft, fraud, and loss of money from bank accounts.

Another type of phishing scam involves sending emails to members of our senior community to request personal information. The scammer will pose as a bank, a retailer, or a senior organization. The goal here is to get the seniors’ login credentials. Some emails may also contain malicious links which attempt to download malware onto a senior’s computer.

Investment & Insurance Schemes

Seniors are also being scammed through investment and insurance schemes.
These will be presented as an extraordinary “investment opportunity” that promises high returns. But first, the senior must pay an upfront fee, divulge personal banking information, or transfer money to an offshore account or a third-party source. 

Another popular scam is the presentation of a fraudulent insurance policy that promises low premium payments with better coverage than the senior currently has.

How to Identify Elder Scams

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Here is a list of techniques that seniors should use to identify scams.

  1. If someone calls under the guise of being a bank or financial institution and they ask for personal information, hang up on the caller and immediately call your financial institution’s customer support hotline. 
  2. Scam emails usually contain grammatical errors, misspelled words, and specific requests for personal and confidential information. Be very wary of these emails, never click on a link in any unsolicited emails, and never download attachments from senders that you do not know.
  3.  Seniors must always be on alert when they receive unsolicited phone calls and emails. They must only share their personal information with reputable and trustworthy sources, such as official government agencies or legitimate financial institutions. 
  4.  Kabb Law also recommends that seniors consider changing to a two-step verification process for email and banking accounts.

What to do if You Think You’ve Been The Victim of a Scam

When a senior suspects that they are a victim to a scam, they should immediately contact their banking or financial institution and the local authorities to report the fraud.

Kabb Law also recommends reporting the fraud to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to investigate the matter and help these seniors recover their funds.

Additionally, you should report the fraud to the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services

Kabb Law is Here to Help

We, at Kabb Law, hope this blog helps our senior community protect themselves from elder scams by becoming aware of the different tactics that scammers use, and how to recognize them.

Seniors, please, always be vigilant when dealing with unsolicited phone calls and emails.


To help you protect your financial future, call us at Kabb Law 216-991-5222 for more pointers on how you can avoid becoming a victim of scamming and tips on protecting your financial future.

And remember , no matter how beautiful a voice you have, we don’t want to hear you singing Where Oh Where Has My Bank Account Gone.