Even in a place like Tennessee where people seem to be a little nicer, seniors can easily fall prey to scam artists who might attempt to steal their retirement savings and can often do so without any face-to-face interaction and no paper trail, making them incredibly hard to trace.

The best defense against scams targeting Ooltewah seniors is information. These crimes happen because people have their kindness and lack of street/tech savvy exploited.

Some potential scams to watch for:

Cons Under Pressure: When faced with emergency situations, we seek to move with urgency to help loved ones, which can taint our critical thinking. And if a senior feels distraught over losing a spouse, he or she may be at particular risk. Watch out for unnecessary charges added to a funeral home bill and be skeptical of strangers who claim you are responsible for a nonexistent debt. In one particularly insidious scam, the con artist may claim to be or speak on behalf of a grandchild needing help with some unexpected financial problem such as overdue rent or payment for car repairs to be paid via Western Union or MoneyGram. The scam artist will beg the grandparent “please don’t tell my parents, they would kill me.”

Fake Products: This ranges from cheaper prescription medicines sold online to treatments promising to restore a youthful appearance. It could include financial scams such as pyramid schemes, unsecured reverse mortgages or makeshift clinics that exist only to get your private information to exploit by opening lines of credit in your name or fraudulently bill Medicare.

Computer Scams: Don’t click on pop-up browser windows that simulate virus-scanning software or unsolicited emails that seem to be from legitimate organizations you know and trust. Oftentimes, being too trusting can lead to downloading a virus giving control of your PC to a stranger.

These scams prey on our desire to save money, expand our retirement savings or protect a loved one in a time of need. Equipped with the knowledge they exist, Ooltewah seniors can better defend themselves against the lowest of the low. 

Published in Active Senior Living
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