Scammers target elderly with fake financial help

January 17, 2011 3:47:44 PM PST
Con artists are telling lies in hopes of gaining your trust to get into your bank account. In this scam, the culprits are targeting senior citizens. It happened just last week to a woman in the Greatwood subdivision of Sugar Land. The scam artist promises to help the elderly victims with their finances. Instead, the victim found her account emptied.

Alvin Young, 74, is retired. He and his wife are not too keen on sales people knocking on their door that is clearly labeled 'no soliciting.'

He said, "We don't mince words, we just tell them that we are not interested."

But someone in his area is making the rounds. On Friday afternoon a woman identifying herself as a financial planner with the Area Agency of Aging knocked on doors and with some smooth talking, gained access to at least one residence. Her reason was to install a free debt solving software.

Area Agency on Aging Manager Curtis Cooper explained, "The senior allowed the woman to access her computer and loaded some type of software on her computer."

That same day, charges began appearing on the senior's credit card.

Alvin said, "I think elderly such as myself are very susceptible to something like that."

The Houston-Galveston Area Agency on Aging says they do not employ financial planners, and any home visits would be set up in advance by appointment. Cooper says, unfortunately, there is no shortage of elderly scams.

He advised, "Don't give your personal information to somebody that you don't know and particularly don't give your information out to somebody who you have not engaged."

Despite the warning on the Youngs' door, they say they still get sales calls, but don't plan on answering any time soon.

Barbara Young said, "If you don't ask them to come to your house, then I would take extra precautions."

As for the woman who was taken in by this scam, her daughter stepped in and was able to stop those multiple credit card charges. The Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office is investigating.