Law Office of Rhonda D. Zimmerman, Esq.
Law Office of Rhonda D. Zimmerman, Esq.

Common Online Scams Targeting the Elderly

elderly scam protection

Elderly adults are much likelier to be targeted by con artists and fraudsters. Scammers tend to target older people because they frequently have more savings and are trusting and polite. It is an unfortunate fact that many people in the world have ill intent and do not deserve trust. With the advent of the internet, the fraud schemes of the past have moved online and seniors are in need of elderly scam protection. While cybercrime might not threaten people with physical harm, it can irrevocably damage people’s financial stability. When older adults are contacted online with offers that they are unsure about, they should talk to Fort Lauderdale estate planning attorney Rhonda D. Zimmerman before sending any money. Below are some of the most common types of cybercrime in which the victims are often the elderly.

Common Types of Cybercrime Schemes


Phishing is among the most common types of online scams and is frequently used to target older adults. A cybercriminal will send emails that appear to be coming from someone the victim knows or a trusted organization. These emails might claim the sender is in danger and needs money to be sent or tell the victim that he or she owes fines to the IRS or another government agency. A variation, called smishing, involves sending similar fraudulent messages via text message.

Shopping and Nigerian Scams

Shopping scams involve selling a “product” online that never arrives. The fraudsters take the money of the victim but never send the product and are long gone by the time the victim realizes what has happened. Nigerian scams involve emails sent by people in other countries stating that the sender needs help to move large amounts of money out of their countries. In exchange for paying some transfer fees, the victims are told that they will receive a percentage of the windfall. However, the victims instead end up paying hundreds or thousands of dollars and receive nothing.

Cryptocurrency Scams

A newer type of online scam involves cryptocurrency. In this scheme, the victim will be encouraged to invest in an initial cryptocurrency offering in exchange for owning a share of the company. However, in many cases, the companies are fictitious, and the fraudsters simply take the money the victims send.

Fine Print Scams

Another tactic used by disreputable companies is to include exorbitant fees and charges in the fine print. Victims might sign up for a subscription and then have large sums of money taken from their bank accounts a month or two later based on what is contained in the fine print.

False Debt Scams

In this type of scam, a victim will be told that he or she owes a lot of money for a debt. However, the debt does not exist. Instead, the fraudster is simply trying to steal the victim’s money. Many people will send money because of concerns about their credit.

Fake Emergency Scams

In this type of scam, the fraudster will send a text message or email claiming to be a loved one of the elderly victim. The fraudster will claim that the loved one is in an emergency situation and needs money to be wired immediately. For example, the message might say that the loved one is in jail and needs bail money or other similar things.

Get Elderly Scam Protection Help From a Fort Lauderdale Estate Planning Attorney

These are just a few examples of the many different types of online scams that frequently target older adults. People who believe something might not be right should talk to attorney Rhonda D. Zimmerman for help with elderly scam protection. Attorney Zimmerman can help her clients to determine whether something might be a fraud scheme and report cybercrimes to the appropriate authorities. Call the Law Offices of Rhonda D. Zimmerman at (954) 822-7566 for a consultation.

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