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Elder Fraud

If you have received a scam phone call, email, or message, you may report it to the Federal Trade Commission. After reporting the incident to the FTC, please contact the Hotline at 833-372-8311 so they can track the frequency with which this scam is happening. 

We encourage our members to remain vigilant and do not provide personal identifiable information (PII), such as a social security number, or money in response to these false claims. 

Below are examples of the types of scams that are currently out there.  

Romance Scam

Scammers exploit individuals seeking romantic partners or companionship via dating websites or social media platforms.

Upon encountering someone online, they swiftly express deep affection and request private communication via phone, email, or text. After establishing trust over a period of weeks, months, or even years, they fabricate a deceptive narrative and solicit money, gifts, or sensitive financial information. Despite assurances, they consistently fail to fulfill their commitments and offer continual excuses for their inability to meet in person, persistently seeking further financial assistance.

Grandparent Scam

Scammers reach out to individuals, often by phone, posing as a family member—frequently a grandchild—and fabricate urgent financial distress, requesting immediate assistance.

A scammer contacts the victim, often posing as a distressed family member, commonly a grandchild, or someone purportedly representing them, like a lawyer or law enforcement official. The impostor claims the family member is in dire straits and urgently requires the grandparent to wire funds purportedly for bail, legal fees, medical expenses, or other fabricated costs.

Government Impersonation Scam

Scammers impersonate government officials and employ threats of arrest or prosecution to coerce victims into providing funds or other payments.

The scammer will contact you, posing as a government entity like the Social Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service, or other official agencies. They'll assert that a warrant has been issued for your arrest and claim that a U.S. Marshal will arrive at your doorstep within 24 hours. To resolve the supposed issue, they'll instruct you to purchase gift cards from a store and provide the codes for payment, emphasizing not to disclose the call to anyone.

Sweepstakes / Charity / Lottery Scams

Scammers pose as representatives of a charity and inform individuals that they've won a lottery or sweepstakes from abroad, but can only receive their winnings after covering various "fees" or "taxes."

You might receive communication via letter, email, phone call, or text message, informing you that you've won a prize in a lottery you never entered. To claim your supposed winnings, you'll be prompted to pay fees and taxes. Scammers may falsely represent themselves as affiliated with Publishers Clearing House or similar organizations.

Tech Support Scams

Fraudsters masquerade as tech support agents, promising to resolve fabricated computer problems. They then exploit this guise to gain remote access to the victim's device or phone, compromising their personal information.

A sudden pop-up or blue screen emerges on your computer, phone, or tablet, alarming you about a virus infecting your device. The urgent message insists on calling a toll-free number or clicking a provided link promptly for technical assistance. Upon contact, an individual purporting to represent a reputable tech company like Apple, Google, or Microsoft responds. They'll demand payment for supposed tech support services, often requiring payment through gift cards or wire transfers.


Scammers employ emails and websites that deceitfully mimic legitimate banks, financial institutions, or companies. Through these deceptive means, they coerce internet users into divulging personal and financial information.

Scammers deploy counterfeit emails or create deceptive websites with the aim of illicitly obtaining your personal data. These fraudsters are adept at keeping up-to-date with current events. Recently, numerous phishing schemes incorporate keywords such as "coronavirus," "COVID-19," and "stimulus" to lure unsuspecting victims.

Email Extortion Scams

Extortion scammers utilize a potent scare tactic: they reveal a password you've used for online accounts. They assert having implanted malware on your computer, granting them access to capture keystrokes, monitor via webcam, and gather sensitive online activity, including visits to private websites. Threatening to share this information, often with a compromising video, to all your email and social media contacts, they demand hush money, typically in Bitcoin, usually amounting to several hundred dollars.

An email arrives containing a password you've used online or in the past. The message appears generic and lacks mention of any specific websites the sender alleges you visited. Often, the threat is poorly articulated and riddled with grammatical errors. Additionally, you're given a brief deadline, usually a day or two, employing a classic high-pressure scam tactic.

Cryptocurrency Fraud

Cryptocurrency is a digital form of value not supported by any government or central bank, as described by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Despite lacking physical backing, it can still be utilized for transactions and exchanged for conventional currencies like the U.S. dollar. However, unlike fiat currency, the value of cryptocurrencies is solely determined by market forces of supply and demand, leading to significant fluctuations that can yield substantial profits or losses for investors. Notably, cryptocurrency investments typically have fewer regulatory safeguards compared to traditional financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

You receive an unsolicited message from someone you don't know, pitching a virtual currency investment opportunity. The message asserts that investing in virtual currency carries no risk and guarantees profits.

Fake Check / Overpayment Scams

A prevalent deception is the overpayment scam, where the scammer sends a check supposedly for an item purchase, sweepstakes or lottery winnings, a grant, scholarship, or related to a job offer. They then request a portion of the money back, citing fees or overpayment. This is a fraudulent scheme.

Legitimate sweepstakes or lotteries do not mandate payment to participate or receive a prize.

Exploiting the fact that banks must make funds from a deposited check available promptly, scammers take advantage, knowing it may take much longer to uncover the check's illegitimacy—sometimes weeks, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Upon discovery of the fake check, any money returned to the scammer is lost, along with any other funds withdrawn or used from the counterfeit check. Banks do not cover these losses.

You post an item for sale in a newspaper classified ad or online listing, and someone responds with an offer, sending you a check—potentially even a cashier's check, which appears particularly secure. However, upon receiving the check, you realize it's for a significantly larger amount than the agreed-upon price for the item. The "buyer" claims it's a mistake and asks you to deposit the check and refund them the difference.