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BBB talks most common senior scams


CALGARY (NEWS 1130) – Seniors are often the targets of financial investment scams and the better business bureau is trying to educate people approaching retirement or who are already retired and tend to look for investment opportunities.

The BBB says older generations looking for something to invest in provides a prime opportunity for scammers.

Spokesperson Leah Brownridge says there’s a wide range of investment scams out there.

“They may even try to lure you into a pyramid scheme–and that’s where the red flags and alarm bells should go off when the key to making money is based on the new recruits you can bring in.”

Scammers will guarantee high return with low risk–Brownridge recommends seeking out at second opinion from a legal or financial professional.

Another common scam involves contacting grandparent claiming to be a grandchild who needs bail money.

“They prey on those emotions and fear, and the grandparent is very quick to hand over that money because, of course, they want to help out their grandchild. [Then] the poor senior has handed over a substantial amount of money.”

But the most common scam that seniors get caught up in, according to the BBB, is the romance one. It starts as an online love connection and preys on lonely seniors looking for love.

“Then comes to the stories of hard luck and they need financial assistance right away,” explains Brownridge. “Senior citizens are more likely to give money to someone they feel a connection with and they just want to help and they just want to be generous.”

Brownridge adds you should never transfer money to someone you don’t know and to ask a close friend or family member before making any large financial decisions. If you think you’ve been a victim (or the target) of a scam, reach out to the BBB.