Scams are often targeted at vulnerable and lonely seniors.

Scam Techniques

Many legitimate (and some not-solegitimate) organizations hire firms to raise money for them. Here are some of their techniques.

  • Repeated use of your name
  • Only small amounts of money needed to activate your “winnings”
  •  Words such as “you’re well on your way, you have made a smart choice, we can help you, mark your calendar, the choice of prize is yours, only our best customers . . .”
  • Tapping into superstitions
  •  Tapping into religious beliefs, such as miracle cures
  •  Legal-looking documents with red or gold seals
  •  Official-sounding departments or agencies
  • Sending small gifts like wallet cards, key fobs, even a toque
  •  Suggesting a sense of urgency (You must act today or you will lose your chance!)
  • Tugging at the heartstrings by using starving children or pets to stir emotion
  •  Photos of celebrities seen on TV (who are just waiting to meet you!)
  •  An official authentic-looking investment policy • Handwritten (seemingly) personalized notes
  • Statements that give the illusion that the entire amount will go to a worthy cause
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