According to the FBI, perpetrators of so-called romance scams are targeting elders in the San Francisco region. Many California residents feel that elders are not susceptible to these scams because they are too old to attract would-be romancers.
If you are an elder or the child of one, it is wise to learn as much as possible about these schemes to avoid losing a considerable sum of money. The FBI says that Santa Clara County has the highest victim tally and dollar amount loss, with San Francisco County reporting the second-highest in financial losses and victims.
Elders are especially vulnerable to romance scams
Older residents often suffer from loneliness, particularly after losing a spouse or a love interest. Scammers take advantage of their loneliness by initiating a friendship and then moving the relationship towards romance. Once they have gained the elder’s trust and affection, they may invite the victim to participate in a lucrative investment opportunity.
These scammers may use fake websites and other tools to convince the elder that the opportunity is authentic. In many cases, they also allow the victim to withdraw some of their investment profits to “prove” the investment is real. When the elder or a family member realizes it is a scam, it is usually too late to avoid monetary losses.
Financial abuse also occurs in other ways
We also want to remind you that elder financial abuse by those in trusted positions is also a risk. Caregivers, financial professionals and even family members have harmed elders through this type of abuse. It is wise to keep a watchful eye on your loved one’s finances if they are 65 years of age or older.
If your beloved senior has been financially abused or manipulated, it may be time to explore your legal options. Experienced guidance can help you decide the best course of action.