Opinion

Grimes: Sequim seniors, beware of scams!

Seniors beware: Swindlers and scam artists are out to get you!

Most everyone has heard about someone receiving a telephone call from a party in Africa telling them they have come into a small fortune and all they have to do to collect this money is to send them a small amount of money for various government fees and the small fortune will be sent to them.

But did you know that seniors receive telephone calls from parties claiming to be from the courthouse, police department, IRS, state lottery, Reader’s Digest and others, all claiming that to avoid some misfortune or to obtain a small fortune all they have to do is send the party a smaller amount of money?

Why do seniors get targeted by these swindlers and scam artists? The emotions they count on are fear, greed and a sense of duty.

And when the senior individual figures out that he or she has been taken advantage of, the crime in a lot of cases goes unreported out of shame and guilt.

An additional problem seniors have is that many live alone and when they receive a telephone call asking for money or personal identification information, they have no one at home to talk the situation over with. The individuals who make these calls are very sophisticated in their approach.

Each year over 25 million Americans fall victim to these swindlers and scam artists.

The thing to do when you receive one of these telephone calls is either hang up or take written notes of the conversation and before taking any action discuss the call with someone you know and trust or the police department.

Michael Grimes is a CPA and Sequim resident.

 

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