18 Comments

  1. It’s sickening to what depth Scammers will go for money. I’ve heard and seen many cases similar to what you’ve described and it’s heart breaking to hear. The older generation are like to say more prone to these types of scammers, earning their way, trusting society only for ‘Scummers’ to potentially take everything from under their feet.
    Its sadly something which really can’t be contained until a very good system is brought into place to prevent the likes of these scams from happening. I personally had a very good email (which was later warned in the local paper) from Netflix which turned out when looking deep into the information was a scam! It’s easy to be mislead and taken an advantage of.
    Thank you for a great article.

    • Hi Damon, I agree it is awful. The problem is that scammers will always work towards ways to find an easier target. Older people, sadly, are the easier target, as they are less suspicious and generally well-intended people, therefore they are less likely to question the truthfulness of what they’ve been told. Especially if they believe it comes from an official person. On top of it, scammers constantly refine their “skills”, inventing new and new forms of scamming people. The best we can do is to bring the information about it to our seniors and, generally, everyone, lessening so the chances of these dishonest people.
      I hope you were not caught in that Netflix scam. Thank you for taking the time to comment and all the best.
      Kerryanne

  2. suzanne

    Hi Kerryanne,
    Wow, what a great post! You listed just about everything out there.
    And I’m surprised to say that I’ve heard or seen many of them myself.
    There’s always someone leaving me a fortune in my inbox, and lately, we’ve been getting lots of “official” calls to warn us of legal procedures and arrests if we don’t pay something. Sheesh!
    You’d think that these wouldn’t work anymore because they’re so frequent and well known, but sometimes they just get you at a bad time.
    Last year, we were fighting with the gov’t over some taxes we shouldn’t be paying, and then someone called from the “tax department” telling me the police were on their way. I have to admit my heart stopped for a minute, lol, but then I called their bluff and they hung up. Hahaha.
    You always have to stay on your toes!
    Cheers,
    Suzanne

    • Hi Suzanne, the funny thing is, I’d say we all are perfectly normal and careful people, and yet, as you say, there are moments when our minds can be tricked and played. If the scammers get lucky to find us then, we all might be scammed to a level. I myself have these “official” calls on regular bases, at least twice a week. Sometimes I only hang up, sometimes I accept the game and play along till almost the end. When they promise to “take care of everything” if I give them my card details-then I usually say the phone is monitored and the call is tracked by police. They hang up very quickly.
      Thank you for sharing your experience!

  3. I feel so much for the elderly with scammers. This year my parents were broken into while they were sleeping during the early ours of the morning. Their TV, laptop and other valuables were stolen.
    The one thing my dad mentioned was how he was worried that they had taken pictures of the family and could use this as a way of getting to the grandkids then leveraging towards payouts for random.
    It’s horrible to think how skelem people can be.
    Now also during lockdown cigarettes are banned South Africa and youngsters are being targets for buying cigarettes. These scammers then say they can get cartons for cheap and then running off with there money and never returning.
    This is a great post and I will definitely share it so more people can be aware.

    • Oh, no, I’m so sorry to read this! I can only imagine what a shock it was for them, and, well, for you as well. It is bed enough that they were left without some of their belongings and the prospective of misuse of family photos is not pleasant, either, but the most I feel for them is that it will probably take quite some time and quite an effort until they can feel safe in their home again. It should not happen to anyone, but especially not to older people.
      Thank you for sharing this, and the scam with the cigarettes with us.
      All the best,
      Kerryanne

  4. Hi Kerryanne,

    It is a great article and reminder for the seniors. I agree with you that seniors are getting wealthier nowadays. However, they may not familiar with technical stuff. Therefore, there are more and more technical scams such as technical support scams and phishing scams that target seniors.

    Thank you for sharing, Kerryanne. I hope more and more seniors can see your articles to avoid these scams.

    All the best,

    Alex

    • Thank you Alex, yes, unfortunately, seniors are the preferred targets for techical scamming, both because of their wealth and their lack of knowledge at this field. I hope this will be of some help for them, as well.

  5. Darcy

    An excellent post topic. Good on you for protecting our seniors.

    I am not a senior myself, but I have encountered the email hijack scam a few times. And I encounter the “urgent call” scams on a regular basis. They seem to have gotten worse since COVID-19 started. Those scams used to scare me at first, but now I just ignore them.

    I’m glad there are people like you in the world who are standing guard.

    • The best thing you can do is exactly to ignore them, especially now as they really increased lately.
      My aim was to draw attention to these, so either the elderly can be informed themselves, or their children or friends might warn them.
      Thank you for your comment.

  6. I believe that most older people are more susceptible to scams that involve technology because they do not understand how people manipulate devices for their benefits.
    I have gotten multiple calls about “you won $100,000, but you need to pay a small fee” before.
    Great post! Seniors need to know this.

    • Absolutely! It is hard for them sometimes to understand technology devices and are happy when they learn how to use them. They would probably never think of the possibility to be scammed through these.
      Thank you for your comment!

  7. I hate these scammers. I am lucky enough not to have encountered any in person. But I keep saying every time I hear of these sacams “Why do people not put all that creativity in something uplifting and positive”. They would probably have the same end result and make people happy instead of miserable.
    Within a week after the lockdown fase 0 over here there were “Red Cross people” going door to door of elderly people saying they were obliged to take a test for the virus and that unfortunately they had to pay for it. Grrr.
    Well, something positive now: thank you so much for this warning. You have done a great job 🙂

    • Oh, yes! The world would be instantly a better place if fraudsters would be good-hearted and aimed good. Probably, however, it is easier for them to con someone, then trying to act fair and square.
      It is a shame that even now, when we are all more or less in the same boat, with the pandemic, the scammers again found a way to “rip off” people. But, that’s the nature of the “business” Find a way to easily fool many. With so many uncertainty around this virus, anything might sound believable 🙁
      Thank you for bringing another one to our attention and for your kind comment.

  8. That’s a very informative post, even for myself. So I can imagine for elder people. I’m sure they are not aware of half of those kind of scam. Neither was I. The puppy one is shocking and it is easier to get in once you are involved in all that situation. The charity is classic but still so many people get into that. Unbelievable.

    We really should spread the word. That’s the only way we can help to avoid those situations. Not only to elderly people but to everybody.

    • Most of them are not, indeed. People are not always happy to admit they were scammed, so some stories stay unrevealed. That’s what also helps fraudsters target more and more people, so I completely agree to spread a word. I made the first move, hopefully it will reach many possibly affected.
      Thank you for your comment.

  9. Oh my goodness I feel so sorry for people who are not alert to this. I have been around technology for years and I still almost got roped in when I got a call from the Tax Office regarding my Tax File number being associated with fraud – just for a second I was fooled then I realised once they told me I was going to be arrested that the Tax Office doesn’t do business that way – I wonder what hope people have when they cannot differentiate scam from non-scam. Thanks for this great post there were a few I hadn’t heard of in there – Chrissie

    • Oh, the arrest-threat. The favorite part which the scammers like to put in work. It sounds quite intimidating when you hear it, quite shocking for anyone in a moment, let alone for an elderly person. They count on the feeling of sudden fear to confuse the person enough to not be able to think clearly. If someone could think twice at that moment, would realise, as you did, that no one is going to arrest you just like that, and would certainly not phone you to tell you about it.
      Thank you for sharing your experience!

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