Granny Scams target senior citizens
The “Jamaican lottery scam,” also known as advanced-fee fraud, is made up of scam artists that trick people, mostly senior citizens, out of their money with a false notification of a lottery winning, inheritance or Publisher Clearing House sweepstakes prize. In these "granny scams", the fraudsters convince the victim to send money in order to secure their winnings.
Older Americans lose $2.9 billion a year to fraud, according to a 2011 study by the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the Center for Gerontology at Virginia Tech. Most victims are between 80 and 89, and most are women. Jamaica’s Ambassador to the U.S., wrote a piece in the Huffington Post last week about the Jamaican government’s new legislation to fight lottery scammers targeting U.S. seniors. The Justice Ministry crafted a bill targeting advanced-fee fraud, identity theft, and dishonest use of technology for accessing financial accounts that could result in 20-year prison sentences in some cases.
How to protect your loved one from scammers
What to do if an elderly loved one is scammed
If your loved one wires money:
Educate your older relatives to the threat now. Plan how you will deal with these issues to protect them in the future. To learn more about scams against the elderly visit http://www.deliveringtrust.com/, a service from the United States Postal Inspection Service.
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