Earl Kilbourne has fielded buzz calls cogent him he has won the lottery. He has heard from added callers absolution him apperceive he could get a bigger amount on his acclaim card.
“The aftermost time I got a alarm cogent me I had won the action and bare to accelerate in money to affirmation my prize, I told them to booty it out of my award-winning money,” the 75-year-old Bowling Green citizen said. “They afraid up.”
He chuckled at the anamnesis of that artificial call, but he and a growing cardinal of chief citizens are acumen that scams targeting those of retirement age are no bedlam matter.
“Senior citizens assume to be added accessible to this blazon of thing,” Kilbourne said. “The con artists are accepting added sophisticated, so we charge to accumulate up our defenses.”
Kilbourne and addition 15 or so seniors were accomplishing aloof that Tuesday as they heard from Ronnie Ward of the Bowling Green Badge Department and Jeremy Hodges of the Kentucky Accompaniment Badge at an “Outsmart the Con Artist” affair presented by AARP and at the Barren River Area Development District.
It’s a appropriate topic, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime, which estimates that the absolute anniversary amount of banking artifice is in the $40 billion range, with the better block of those losses advancing at the amount of those over age 60.
“A lot of scammers accurately ambition seniors,” said Eric Evans, accessory administrator of advancement and beat for AARP’s Louisville office. “They apperceive the seniors accept pensions.
“Every day they amount out added agency to get people’s money. At AARP we see it as our mission to try to assure people. We appetite to get association out to apprentice from experts.”
Hodges and Ward provided that ability Tuesday, and they additionally provided some acumen into why scammers are targeting seniors through counterfeit buzz calls, emails and internet schemes.
“They ambition the aged because you’re nice and trusting,” Hodges said.
“You grew up in a altered time,” Ward explained. “You gave actuality to your neighbors and you trusted people. They (scammers) are attractive for that assurance and appetite to accomplishment it. Their job is to abstracted you from your money, and they don’t affliction if they’re demography your aftermost dollar.”
The two badge admiral acicular out agency to admit scams and precautions to booty to abstain actuality scammed.
Although con artists are consistently alteration tactics, Ward said there are some accepted scams that can be abhorred artlessly by actuality added aware.
A accepted way of accepting money from seniors is the “grandparent scam” in which a addition pretends to be a senior’s grandchild in charge of money to get out of a difficult situation.
“You artlessly appetite to help,” Ward said. “They activate an affecting acknowledgment and tug at your heartstrings. They appetite you not to anticipate but to act.”
If acting agency sending money in the anatomy of allowance cards, that’s a abiding assurance of a scam, Ward said. Asking for acquittal with allowance cards is accepted in assorted types of scams, the badge admiral said.
“In the IRS betray (where victims are told they owe money for aback taxes), you ability be asked to pay them with iTunes allowance cards,” Ward said. “That’s aloof silly.”
“They’ll advertise the iTunes allowance cards,” Hodges said. “It’s kinda like bed-making money.”
Other types of scams covered by Hodges and Ward included affected GoFundMe accounts, affected charities claiming to account veterans or added groups, and alike callers assuming as law enforcement.
“The badge don’t alarm bodies and acquaint you we accept a accreditation for your arrest,” Ward said. “You ability get a alarm cogent you that if you don’t pay money you’ll be arrested. We don’t assignment that way.”
Because they use affected emails, afraid amusing media accounts and buzz numbers that can’t be traced, scammers can be adamantine to ascertain or clue down. That’s why it’s important to break vigilant, Hodges said.
“If it sounds too acceptable to be true, it’s apparently a scam,” he said. “Unless Ed McMahon shows up at your aperture with a analysis as alpine as you are, it’s apparently not true.”
Ward said bounded efforts to action artifice accommodate training coffer advisers to admit back addition may be the victim of a scam.
“We’ve begged presidents of banks to empower their tellers to ask questions back there’s article out of the ordinary,” Ward said. “If addition is absent to abjure a ample sum of money, we alternation those tellers to ask questions.”
The AARP’s Evans is on lath with such strategies, saying: “We’re alive on some legislation that would advice coffer tellers and anticipate fraud. We’re aggravating to acquisition all kinds of agency to help.”
Evans said the AARP has conducted added than 100 sessions about the accompaniment on alienated fraud. The accumulation has advice about acquainted and preventing at aarp.org/ fraudwatchnetwork.
– Follow business anchorman Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or appointment bgdailynews.com.
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