Scammers are always looking for new ways to bilk people of their hard-earned money. They often target older adults because they have more resources, and may be too polite to hang up the phone or ignore calls. The District Attorney has highlighted some recent scams affecting older adults in their “Fraud Friday” series.
- In a virtual kidnapping scam, a person calls a senior claiming they have kidnapped a loved-one, trying to get ransom money. They may even have someone in the background faking screams to make you believe in the scam.
- In this scenario, the scammer buys an item from a listing online and pays for it with a bad check, often for more than the amount they owe. They then ask the victim to wire back that extra amount, after which the victim finds out the check did not clear.
- This scam features an “international employer” looking to hire a local representative to transfer money, so the company avoids paying local taxes. They are really laundering money, now making the victim an accomplice.
- In this scam victims receive a phone call from “Microsoft”, or even see a pop up on their computer screen, demanding payment to either wipe the viruses from their computer or to renew their license.
- Scammers target older adults looking to sell their timeshare. They pretend to represent interested buyers, and send over signed legal documents, asking the seniors to pay for “closing costs.” Once they have the money, they claim the buyers backed out of the deal.
For the latest edition of “Fraud Friday”, visit the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office website. If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, contact the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs at (800) 593-8222.