Fleecing Grandma and Grandpa: Protecting against Scams, Cons, and Frauds

Fleecing Grandma and Grandpa: Protecting against Scams, Cons, and Frauds

Fleecing Grandma and Grandpa: Protecting against Scams, Cons, and Frauds

Fleecing Grandma and Grandpa: Protecting against Scams, Cons, and Frauds

Synopsis

Falling for a scam or con is humiliating for anyone, and can have terrible consequences. But for the elderly, being the victim of fraud can be disastrous, and they are the most common and vulnerable targets of everyday scams, cons, and frauds. From identity theft to gambling scams, from power of attorney issues to pyramid schemes, there is no dearth of creativity in the ways some criminals will relieve the elderly from their money and their homes. Here, Alt and Wells describe the most common scams, offer the stories of actual victims, and detail ways to protect yourself and your family from becoming easy targets.

What makes the elderly such easy marks for con artists? How can they avoid the common traps? Knowing about them is one place to start, and this book helps readers to understand and identify the most common scams perpetrated against the elderly. Because such cons are so hard to prosecute, it is important to know the methods criminals employ to separate innocents from their hard-earned money. This lively, vivid account of one of the most insidious forms of crime will help families and individuals protect themselves and their loved ones from the machinations of those who view them as easy marks.

Excerpt

Flim-flam—a sly trick or deception; to trick or cheat
New World Dictionary

Con artists are masters of manipulation. From the early Egyptian who added cement to his bread to make it weigh more, to the carnival barker shouting, “Step right up. See the three-headed woman,” to the telemarketer convincing thousands that they have won a Canadian lottery, these cons feed off the gullibility and greed of one and all. Today con artists still lurk in the crowded cities and small towns of America spouting all kinds of ways to make easy money and continually gaining the public’s confidence. the urge to get rich quick is so tempting that many people fail to see through the spiel of the charismatic con artist who knocks on their door, asks for help in a mall, sends a clever letter, calls on the telephone, or e-mails an enticing offer.

Although con artists prey upon “marks” (victims) of all ages, senior citizens—those individuals over age 65—appear to be particularly susceptible to many types of scams for a number of reasons. Many have accumulated savings or have excellent credit available, so they make ideal marks. They tend to be more trusting of others and therefore more gullible. They often live alone, are eager for companionship, and are more accessible because they are . . .

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