Financial abuse continuously threatens seniors nationwide. One of the newest scams designed to prey on vulnerable populations is the “free lunch for seniors” scam. Here’s how it works:
- Seniors are invited to a free lunch event offering them “ helpful” information and education, typically about retirement and their finances.
- Questionnaires are used to gather information about potential victims.
- During the seminar, more information is obtained about attendees’ finances and their willingness to consider “new” financial opportunities. The sales presentation encourages people to take the “next step” by providing detailed information.
- When the senior hands over the financial information, the scammers have various opportunities to pursue fraudulent activity. Perhaps they’ll have identified liquid assets, such as IRAs, checking accounts, or mutual funds.
If the scammers can’t access the accounts directly, perhaps they’ll encourage the person to move their assets. For example, they may suggest that the senior move their money from a checking account into a trust. Or, they might convince the senior to purchase products, giving the scammer a commission for the sale.
Caution for Senior Events and Seminars
Whether you or a family member is planning to attend a senior event, always use caution about the information provided. Check the credentials of the presenting organization and speakers in advance. Never make financial decisions or purchases without consulting with someone you trust. Don’t let the “free lunch” fool you into handing over sensitive information such as social security numbers, bank account information, financial balances, and more.
If you suspect that someone is trying to scam your community with a senior seminar or any other scam, report it immediately. Contact our team any time for more information about reporting these situations. Email info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or call 858-480-7551. Senior Safe and Sound.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal advice.