Fraud Costs Seniors An Estimated $3 Billion A Year

The cover article in the April issue of the AARP Bulletin is titled, “Fraud International, It’s Vast, Organized And Growing.”

The article notes that a converted house in Jamaica is filled with desks and telephones at which “salesmen” pretending to be government officials called older Americans to tell them they had won a lottery prize worth millions —- but only if they would first hand over thousands of dollars in “taxes” and “fees.”

As the article points out, most people think of these callers as small-time hustlers, but in fact they are part of an “industry” that functions like a legitimate business whose object is to steal your money.

I’ve written a lot over the years about scams, usually aimed at poor or elderly people because, I guess, they were the most likely victims. But, according to the article in the AARP Bulletin, it has been made easier through technology in which emails and phone calls have “become cheap and pervasive.”

In addition to Jamaica, the article notes India, Costa Rica, Nigeria, and Romania/Eastern Europe are involved in the scams, as well as the cities of Miami and Tampa in Florida which, according to the Miami Herald, “have long been recognized as incubators for Medicare fraud.”

The bottom line has always been “Be very careful when someone is offering something for nothing. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Beau Weisman, Editor