Top 5 Scams Targeting Baby Boomers

The fact that senior citizens are more susceptible to scams doesn’t really come as a surprise, but did you know that more and more Baby Boomers are being targeted by these fraudsters too?

According to the FBI, people who grew up in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s were generally raised to be polite and trusting. Con artists exploit these traits, knowing that it is difficult or impossible for these individuals to say “no” or just hang up the telephone. (

Well, that, and of course, the reality that most baby boomers have already established their “nest eggs” – a beautiful home, savings, investments and pension, which makes them a prime bait for scammers.

To avoid falling prey to these scams, one must always be informed and aware of the various common schemes and tactics that these criminals do.

That being said, here are the top 5 scams aimed towards the baby boomers and elder adults in the society:

1. Home repair and Utility scams.

These scammers can either offer you better deals that will cost you more in the long run (painter, plumber, roofing, etc.) or pretend as people from utility companies and try to steal from you.

To avoid the scam:

If someone comes up to your door and asks you to step outside to talk about a good offer or to see your utility bills, do not give in under any circumstances. Just politely refuse and close the door.

When it comes to transacting deals for home repairs, always get multiple estimates, and remember, if a deal sounds too good to be true, then it’s most likely a fraud.

2. Discount prescription scam.

You will probably get a call from scammers offering 50% off on medicines or healthcare supplies, but with a catch – it will require a “membership fee” to avail the discount. It may or may not get delivered, and if they are, the drugs are just generic herbal replacements.

To avoid the scam:

Always check with your state’s program for low-income health insurance to know which ones are on the list of reputable discount programs.

3. Sweepstakes/lottery scams.

Pop-up ads, emails or calls saying you’ve won a sweepstakes, lottery or something similar like a cash prize or a free vacation may sound ridiculous for most of us, but many seniors and boomers actually fall for this scam.

To avoid the scam:

According to the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, “Once a ticket is bought, no money is EVER required to claim a prize.”  So if it requires you to pay a single cent or give bank account or credit card details, it is definitely a hoax.

4. The “grandparent” scam.

So here’s the situation, you receive a call pretending to be a family member (usually a grandchild), and tells you that he/she is in urgent need of money for an emergency.

To avoid this scam:

Before sending any amount, make sure to confirm with other family members first.

5. The romance scam.

Yup, these swindlers will take advantage of a boomer’s emotional needs in this type of scam wherein the scammer will gain the victim’s attraction and use that to get money from him/her for an “unexpected emergency.” After sending the amount, the victim unfortunately never hears from the “lover” anymore.

To avoid the scam:

Meet the person in real life first before getting into the next step. Never give private information or intimate photos because they can use these to blackmail you in the future. And of course, never ever give money or gifts before you even getting to know him/her in person.

Whether you are taking care of an elder loved one or a baby boomer yourself, make sure to watch out for these schemes and keep an eye on people’s fishy motives to protect yourself, your savings, and your future.

About Toni Marie

Toni is a contributing author. In addition to writing about the Baby Boomer generation, she also likes to write about relationships and health.
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