smart spending

Phone scams against the elderly

Con artists love the telephone
Next
1 of 7
Con artists love the telephone

If you're retired, one of the biggest threats to your wallet could be that smooth voice on the phone.

Reported phone scams were up 7.62 percent in 2010, according to the National Consumers League.

With all age groups, phone scams are growing. And so are consumer complaints. With retirees, scammers give more time and attention. Often, when the family members finally intervene, the retiree has more trust in the new phone friend.

Recently, one crook gamed $25,000 from a retiree in a lottery phone scam, says Linda Foley, founder of the Identity Theft Resource Center. Even when relatives assured the man the "lottery" was fake, he insisted he'd won -- selling off assets to pay fees "required" to claim his promised millions.

"It was heartbreaking," says Foley.

Criminals also watch the news. They "latch onto what's new and at the top of consumers' minds," says John Breyault, director of the National Consumers League's Fraud Center.

Consequently, top scams these days revolve around health care reform, he says.

Beware these five tricky retiree phone scams.


 

 

advertisement

Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us
MORTGAGE HOME EQUITY AUTO CDs CREDIT CARDS
Product Rate Change Last week
30 year fixed, 0 point 4.19%  0.07 4.26%
15 year fixed, 0 point 3.23%  0.04 3.27%
5/1 ARM 3.34%  0.11 3.45%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
30K FICO-based HELOC 4.38%  0.01 4.39%
50K FICO-based HELOC 4.11% --0.00 4.11%
100K FICO-based HELOC 3.96% --0.00 3.96%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
60 month used car loan 2.63%  0.10 2.73%
48 month used car loan 2.90%  0.07 2.97%
60 month new car loan 3.16%  0.06 3.22%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
1 Year CD 0.90% --0.01 0.91%
2 Year CD 1.10%  0.02 1.08%
5 Year CD 1.74% --0.00 1.74%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
Balance Transfer Cards 15.66%  0.01 15.67%
Cash Back Cards 16.36% --0.00 16.36%
Low Interest Cards 10.87% --0.00 10.87%
 
Next
advertisement
FRUGAL NEWSLETTER

Discover new ways to cut costs and save more every day. Reduce your spending, not life’s pleasures. Delivered weekly.

advertisement
Partner Center
advertisement

Connect with us