“You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch” is more than just a catchy tune from one of the most beloved holiday programs ever created. Sadly, there are many grinches out there doing everything they can to unlawfully take money from the unsuspecting. And, it’s sad to say that the intended victims of many holiday scams are seniors.
Seniors are preferred targets for scammers for several reasons:
- They’re more likely to own their own home
- They probably have a retirement fund
- They usually have good/excellent credit
- Many aren’t tech-savvy
- They may have some degree of cognitive impairment
The holidays are a season where seniors face even more scams than usual. Grinches take advantage of busy schedules and holiday generosity. They often prey on lonely seniors who are happy to be contacted by someone.
Common Holiday Scams Targeting Seniors
Scammers have a wide variety of ways to illegally get people to part with their hard-earned money. Here are several that they use to zero in on seniors.
Online Shopping Schemes
A deal that’s “too good to be true” usually is. Scammers send seniors emails that use compelling, but fake, offers to get their victims to share private information or download malware on their computers.
Some of those scams look like this:
- Download an app and get great discounts. These emails often contain logos that look like major, name-brand retailers. But, upon closer inspection, you’ll see spelling errors and no online reviews.
- Get a loyal customer gift card. This scam tells the senior that a retailer wants to reward them with a gift card and to click a link and provide information to get the card. It’s unlikely this is real; it’s just another unscrupulous way scammers get personal information.
- Be an online secret shopper. Seniors are invited by email to shop online and rate the retailer’s