Do we really get wiser with old age, or just more vulnerable to all the scammers out there? Here are the top scams directed towards senior citizens.
The phone rings; it’s from the IRS, claiming you owe money.

  • Caller ID says IRS (spoof technology).
  • Caller says if you don’t pay within 24 hours, you’re going to jail.
  • Caller wants your bank account information and routing number, or wants you to wire what you owe.
  • Or, caller says IRS owes you, but to get the refund, you must pay a processing fee within 24 hours.
  • The IRS never calls people for back taxes; it sends a certified letter.
  • Refunds are sent via snail mail without the IRS ever notifying you.

Reverse Mortgages

  • There’s no monthly payment, but whatever balance and interest has accumulated by the time the borrower sells, it must be paid back. If the borrower dies before this, family members must pay it.
  • Misleading ads make it seem this loan is affiliated with the government.
  • You CAN lose your home.
  • If you run out of equity before you sell or die, you’ll need to repay the loan. If you can’t, it’s foreclosure time.

Sob Story

  • The caller identifies self as a grandchild, great niece, etc.
  • Or, the caller says he’s your grandchild’s doctor, lawyer, etc.
  • The caller is in trouble and wants you to wire them money ASAP.
  • They may know details of the person they’re impersonating and you as well, because they’ve visited that person’s Facebook page—and yours.
  • If you ask if you can call back, the caller won’t accept this.
  • Asking additional questions about the “accident” or “burglary” won’t get you answers.

Obituaries and Funeral Homes

  • The caller says that the deceased owes a debt.
  • Or, the caller says he provides funeral services.
  • The victim is a spouse usually.
  • A funeral home that you’re already working with may also try to scam you by talking you into the most expensive casket, memorial plaques, etc.

Phony Pharma

  • Caller or e-mail sender claims to be from the government or authorized by such, to fill your drug prescription at a cheap price.
  • You must act now because the great deal is for a limited time.
  • If you DO receive something, it’s probably vitamins in a prescription bottle.
  • The crook may know details about you from reading your Facebook page.
  • A similar scam exists for Medicare.


  • Use a mobile phone as much as possible; scammers usually call landline numbers.
  • Never answer the phone if the number is unfamiliar or says IRS.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

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