Who takes advantage of seniors?

Many perpetrators seek out seniors with the intent to exploit or scam them. These people may:

  • Say they love the older person (also known as “romance scams”)
  • Gain access to seniors as care givers, counselors, or other professional service providers
  • Find vulnerable widows or widowers by reading obituaries, driving through neighborhoods to identify seniors who live alone or are isolated
  • Attend church or other community functions to find seniors who may live alone
  • Quickly move from community to community to avoid being noticed or apprehended
  • Steal physical possessions from the seniors’ homes

A woman talking to a door-to-door salesman in the doorway of her home.

Service providers or businesses that are unscrupulous also may take advantage or scam seniors. These people may:

  • Overcharge for services or products
  • Use deceptive or unfair business practices
  • Use positions of trust or respect to gain compliance

Unfortunately, close friends or family members are often common perpetrators. These people may:

  • Believe they are entitled to, or justified in taking, what they believe is rightfully theirs
  • Think the senior will spend all of his or her savings, depriving him or her of an inheritance
  • Have had a negative or abusive relationship with the senior
  • Try to prevent other family members or siblings from inheriting the senior’s assets
  • Attempt to isolate the senior from other friends and family members
  • Need money to finance a substance abuse, gambling, or other problem

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