News release issued by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Financially vulnerable seniors are being preyed upon by phone, at church and other places by people falsely claiming to represent a company that can help them gain access to government grants and other funding in exchange for a “fee.”
The caller makes the victim believe that he or she will receive money or that there is a money-back guarantee if the grants are not secured. This Elder Funding Scam even includes a real contract in which the truth of the deal is revealed.
What the senior signs for – and the scammer actually provides – is a list of addresses and phone numbers for the victim to call himself or herself. Resources are easily available for free with a simple search online or from elder assistance groups.
In a recent case, a 73-year-old woman gave one such company her debit card information. Her account was charged $800. What she received in exchange is this: “List of Potential Funding Sources.”
Some scammers even claim to be part of a government program that provides monetary assistance to seniors.
- Remember, there is no federal program that pays your monthly bills in exchange for payment of any kind
- Never give bank account information over the phone to anyone who calls or who you just met, no matter who they claim to be or why they claim to need the information
- No one can guarantee that a grant will be provided or that it is available for individuals trying to make ends meet
Watch this video where Deputy District Attorney Rouman Ebrahim with the Cyber Crime Division explains the scam.
For more information on scams that target seniors, go to the Elder Abuse/Financial Fraud pages of the District Attorney’s website (https://da.lacounty.gov/seniors/financial-fraud) or https://vimeo.com/150942366.