Florida Attorney General addressing increase in seniors falling victim to scams

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Posted at 7:24 AM, Apr 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-16 11:55:43-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla -- Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is working to protect seniors who are falling victim to scams at an alarming rate.

Moody said the five million seniors who call the state home continue to be targeted. The COVID-19 pandemic has created new opportunities for scammers who’ve used the vaccine, for example, to target older victims.

There’s also a new scam to be on the lookout for. The Federal Trade commission said it involves a knock at the door and someone telling you your grandchild needs help.

According to the FTC, "grandparent scammers" are getting so bold that you might even get a call from someone pretending to be your grandchild. They might speak softly or make an excuse for why they sound different. They’ll say they’re in trouble, need bail, or need money for some other reason. The commission said the “grandchild” will also beg you to keep it a secret, saying they're “under a gag order,” or that they don’t want their parents to know. Sometimes they might put another scammer on the line who pretends to be a lawyer needing money to represent the grandchild in court.

Instead of asking you to buy gift cards or wire money, the FTC said the scammer tells you someone will come to your door to pick up cash. Once you hand it over, your money is gone.

This is one of many scams we've seen targeting seniors lately. They've been scammed at alarming rates during the pandemic. In addition to the increase in vaccine scams, we’ve also seen an increase in online gift card scams.

Moody is pushing the "Seniors vs. Crime" project to help them recover. The project has helped over 11,000 seniors and has trained over 4,000 volunteers to make its mission possible.

Moody said Southwest Florida can even expect a new center devoted to these efforts, which she said will come to Collier County in the future.

Florida Attorney General Addresses Scams Targeting Seniors