Adding Value

Through Creative Solutions

Outsmarting Scammers and Avoiding Scams

retirement communities des moines



Scams targeting seniors are popping up left and right, so it’s best to start preparing than be sorry when it happens. Eighty percent of telemarketing scam are found to have targeted those over 65 years old specifically and these fraudsters are getting more sophisticated.  The most common means they conduct their illegal businesses are through phone, email, and even software. Given that seniors who regularly use technology spend most of their time online compared to other age groups, it may be worthwhile reading and learning more about the possible dangers they may encounter online.


The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may be the best source of information regarding the latest scams. Among the most recent scams reported is a new twist to the Social Security Administration (SSA) scam. In this scam, a potential victim receives a robocall that informs them their benefits are ending and asks the victim to press 1. FTC suggests to simply hang up and not proceed getting directed to the imposter by pressing 1. 73,000 reports of this scam has been reported in the first half of 2019. The scam has a significant number of people, who collectively reported losses of $17 million.


Fraudsters did not spare calamities and still took it a chance to extort money. In the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, victims who have lost or damaged their homes received calls from scammers. These fraudsters posed as government officials offering aid in return for personal information or money. Seniors staying in senior homes would have a lower chance of falling for such a scam. Another scam involves asking for aid for those affected by the hurricane. Even those in retirement communities in Warsaw Town, NY or even further may have gotten these calls. What makes their request suspicious is they always ask for payment in the form of gift card, prepaid card, or wired money. As a point, any request involving these three methods are for the most part scams unfortunately and should be ignored or reported.


Rental scams is another large category targeting seniors. In particular, those downsizing their home and are thinking of renting instead are more vulnerable to such scams. This is one reason why staying in retirement communities near Des Moines, IA may be a safer option. The National Rental Home Council says that these scammers use a variety of techniques from hacking real real estate listings to have their email instead of the legitimate person leasing the house to posing as real estate agents using a rental listing duplicated from an original one. Some others try to lease an already leased property and collect application fees and security deposits. This scam is difficult to disprove until it’s too late. Among red flags to watch out for is the price. If the monthly rent is significantly lower than average in the neighborhood, it may be too good to be true and may be a scam. If you are speaking to a real estate agent, as for their photo ID and call the real estate company that supposedly employs the individual. Due diligence pays off and may save you thousands of dollars of your hard-earned savings.


Consider staying in one of the many senior communities whether that is in Kansas City, KS or maybe in one of the 55+ apartments in Des Moines, IA and avoid all the headaches with real estate transactions and reduce the possibility of getting targeted for scams