Cryptocurrency is hot right now, and with it comes a rise in scams. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to these scams, as they may be more trusting of strangers and less familiar with how cryptocurrency works.
That’s not to say there aren’t some pretty savvy elders out there, but in general, those over the age of 60 are prone to falling for scams more quickly than younger people. Here are some of the most common crypto scams that seniors (and everyone, really) should be on the lookout for.
Elder theft and scams are at an all-time high for a number of reasons.
Unfortunately, the elderly can be a pretty easy target. Here are a few of the reasons why scammers may specifically target them:
While anyone could fall for these scams, these are the scams that are most likely to target older people or that older people are most likely to fall for.
The crypto grandparent scam is a type of scam that only targets elderly people. In this scam, the scammer will pose as a grandchild or other close relative of the victim and ask for money to that they can use to purchase cryptocurrency. The scammer will often use emotional appeals, such as claiming that they are in financial trouble or that they need the money to pay for a medical emergency.
There are a few reasons why elderly people are more likely to fall for the crypto grandparent scam, but when it involves trusting their grandkids or other close relatives, they’re even more likely.
Scammers will often send out emails or social media messages that offer free cryptocurrency. To claim the prize, the senior is asked to provide their personal information or to send money to the scammer. Once the scammer has this information, they can use it to steal the senior's identity or money.
These are easy to fall for because seniors aren’t typically as social media savvy and may not know much about crypto.
Scammers will call seniors and claim that there is a problem with their computer or internet connection. They will then ask the senior to give them remote access to their computer. Once they have access, the scammer can steal the senior's cryptocurrency or other personal information.
Scammers will create fake profiles on dating websites and social media platforms. They will then target seniors and build relationships with them. Once they have gained the senior's trust, the scammer will ask them for money to purchase cryptocurrency or to help them with a financial emergency.
If you are a senior, it is important to be aware of these scams and to take steps to protect yourself. Here are some tips:
There are a number of things that can be done to protect elderly people from theft and scams and it’s important that, as a community, we help where we can.
It’s important to educate and protect our seniors, and it’s important for seniors to know what to look for so they can be safer on the internet, especially if they want to purchase crypto.
For additional information on Elder Financial Exploitation, please go to FIN-2022-A002