Frauds and Scams Targeted to Seniors

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People who commit frauds and scams often target older adults. Frauds and scams can be perpetuated by mail, telephone, or e-mail.

Common Types of Frauds and Scams
Common types of frauds and scams used to take money from seniors include claims that the intended victim has won a lottery (but needs to send a fee to claim the winnings); get-rich-quick “investment opportunities” that require immediate funds; and claims that the victim is owed money by the government, but their bank account identification information needs to be checked first. U.S. Postal Inspectors warn older Americans against phony investment schemes by offering the following tips:

Know the signs of a scam:

Further information and publications on consumer fraud can be found at the United States Postal Inspection Service’s website:

How to Help Protect Seniors from Becoming Fraud Victims
Friends and family members of older adults can help protect them from becoming victims of frauds. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers the following tips for giving advice to older friends or relatives:

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office for Older Americans released a Guide to help family members and friends of people living in nursing homes and assisted living communities learn how to prevent and report elder financial abuse.

This guide is for family, friends, and other community members. It walks through four steps to fighting elder financial abuse: Prevent, Recognize, Record, and Report. The guide lists red flags to watch for, shares some common scenarios, and includes resources you can use to help your loved one. Download or order the new guide for free.

Better Business Bureau
Further information on common types of frauds and scams can be found at the Better Business Bureau of Connecticut’s Scam Tracker website:

Office of the Attorney General – Senior Fraud Hotline
The State of Connecticut Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Unit runs a Senior Fraud Hotline. Retired volunteers offer help to older Connecticut residents in providing consumer information on frauds and helping seek restitution for funds lost to fraudulent schemes. The Consumer Assistance Unit can be contacted at (860) 808-5420.

Department of Rehabilitation Services

The Connecticut Department of Aging and Disability Services posts recent examples of frauds and scams on their website:

To Find Services in Connecticut’s Community Resources Database:
Search by Provider Name: Better Business Bureau of Connecticut
by Service Name: Fraud Prevention


SOURCES: 2-1-1 database; Better Business Bureau of Connecticut. website; Federal Bureau of Investigation website; State of Connecticut Department on Aging website; United States Postal Inspection Service website