Recently, there has been an increase in fraud cases victimizing seniors. Often these scammers use the telephone and will utilize every opportunity to locate, isolate and trick their next victim. We have provided a list of common scams that target seniors.
Here are some of the most common fraud cases targeting seniors:
1. The Grandparent Scam: A “Grandchild” will call to get out of jail, pay off a debt, repair a vehicle, or get medical treatment. Of course, the “Grandchild” will not want their Mom and Dad to know the situation as they are not really an actual relative.
2. Telemarketing and Mail Scams: Frequently this situation involves the “winning” of a lottery, a vacation, or a valuable prize. Of course, there are fees involved to finalize the details or pay the taxes, legal fees, or shipping.
3. Home Renovation Fraud: This can entail a major discount due to supplies left over from the "neighbor's" repair work, failure to provide a written estimate, the infamous "senior discount" that does not exist, shoddy or incomplete renovations, or simply requesting a significant deposit or pre-paid contract and never returning to do any work.
4. Bank Inspector Fraud: The claim of a bank teller stealing money and the "fraud squad" needs you to make significant cash withdrawal and turn it over so they can catch the teller and prosecute accordingly.
5. Power of Attorney and Wills: Scammers may try to coerce you into signing over the management of your personal and property affairs or make out a new will placing them in a position to inherit part of your estate.
6. Utility Company Scam: Scammers claim to be from a utility company such as ComEd and proceed to ask for money to pay a bill. Do not offer any information and hang up.
If you have any questions regarding the issue of identity theft scams or would like to report a suspicious phone call, please call the Willowbrook Police Department at (630) 325-2808.