June 2024: Senior Scam Alert, How Caregivers Are Offering Protection

Category: News

June 2024: Senior Scam Alert, How Caregivers Are Offering Protection

In 2023 alone, American seniors lost a staggering $3.4 billion to scams—an 11% increase from the previous year. Labeled "elder fraud," these financial crimes devastatingly impacted those aged 60 and above, with the FBI reporting a 14% surge in complaints to 101,068, up from 88,262 in 2022. These statistics highlight not only the growing financial threat to our elderly population but also the deepening sophistication of scams that exploit their trust and often their limited understanding of technology. The average loss per victim was a significant $33,915, with nearly 6,000 individuals losing more than $100,000 each, showing the critical need for heightened awareness and stronger protective measures against such predatory actions.


Senior Safety: Prioritizing Care and Vigilance

In response to this alarming trend, the FBI has emphasized the need for increased vigilance among seniors and those who care for them. Particularly concerning is the rise of tech support scams, where fraudsters impersonate legitimate tech support services to gain access to victims' devices and ultimately their financial accounts. These scams often start with an unsolicited call or message, claiming that the senior has a refund or a problem that needs immediate attention. In some cases, as outlined in a FBI public service announcement, scammers have even directed victims to send cash through unconventional methods, like wrapped in magazines, to avoid detection.

Elder fraud often manifests in several malicious forms these are the top 5:

  1. Computer Tech Support Scams: Scammers claim there's an issue with the victim’s computer to gain remote access. This is the number one type of scam impacting seniors.
  2. Government Impersonation Scams: Fraudsters pose as government officials to extort money or personal details.
  3. Sweepstakes and Lottery Scams: Victims are tricked into believing they've won a prize and must pay a fee to claim it.
  4. Robocalls and Phone Scams: These include calls where scammers ask leading questions to record the victim’s voice or push bogus legal threats.
  5. The Grandparent Scam: Impersonators trick seniors into believing a grandchild is in dire need of money.

A Heartbreaking Tale of Deception and Loss

Building on the grim statistics of elder fraud, a particularly harrowing account detailed by the Wall Street Journal sheds light on the sophisticated tactics used by scammers to prey on seniors. In this case, a senior citizen was drawn into a fraudulent investment scheme by a scammer posing as a wealthy young woman named Violaine. She said that she had moved to the U.S. from China a few years after her divorce, and longed for a companion.

Violaine convincingly portrayed herself as a successful trader who made a fortune trading gold futures—contracts that lock in commodities at a predetermined price. She introduced the senior to an app called Fuex, which she claimed was essential for trading on the FX6 market. At the time, Fuex was presented as a registered company in the U.K., but it has since been delisted.

Violaine claimed she could predict profitable trading opportunities, which she referred to as "nodes". These nodes supposedly stemmed from insider knowledge from her uncle who owned a stake in the the trading platform, FX6. Encouraged by Violaine, the senior made an initial modest investment of $1,500. She manipulated the displays on the Fuex app to show a significant increase in value, creating the illusion of a very successful investment.


Emboldened by the apparent success and deeply moved by Violaine's romantic gestures, the senior was swept up in the prospect of both financial gain and a blossoming romantic relationship. Violaine wove tales of their future together, further blurring the lines between a financial partnership and a personal connection. Trusting in their shared future, he was led to invest increasingly larger amounts of money.

However, the trading platform FX6, and the Fuex app was entirely fictitious, a sophisticated ruse crafted to siphon funds from unsuspecting victims. When the victim attempted to withdraw his supposed earnings, he was met with a series of fabricated obstacles. He was repeatedly asked to pay various fees to access his money, each time with the promise that this would be the last barrier to getting his funds released. Tragically, each fee paid only led to another, draining the senior of his entire life's savings.

Homewatch CareGivers

How Senior Care Franchises Can Help

As elder fraud continues to rise, impacting countless lives with sophisticated scams, the role of senior care franchises becomes increasingly critical. These organizations are on the front lines of helping to keep seniors safe from such exploitation. Senior care franchises, such as Homewatch CareGivers, provide more than just a safe living environment.

Homewatch CareGivers provides essential companionship to seniors, helping to prevent the loneliness that can leave them susceptible to scams. Their services ensure that seniors have regular interaction and emotional support, fostering a sense of belonging and security. This companionship is integral to the well-rounded care that Homewatch CareGivers offers, emphasizing the importance of emotional and social well-being alongside physical health.

Homewatch Connect device

Introducing Homewatch Connect, a new service by Homewatch designed to enhance the safety and connectivity of seniors through advanced technology. This innovative new service includes virtual visits with healthcare providers and family members to reduce isolation for those living alone. It features environmental sensors and motion detectors to monitor the home for potential issues, such as unusual movements or sounds. Homewatch Connect also provides medication reminders and screens incoming calls to protect seniors from scams, allowing only known and approved contacts. This system supports various levels of care, from active to specialized, ensuring comprehensive monitoring and personalized care for seniors.

For those considering starting a business, Homewatch CareGivers provides an excellent example. If you would like more information on how you can find the right franchise for you, schedule a free consultation with BizFranHub today.

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