The lowest of the low

By: Jennifer Pretty Nov 15, 2011
elderly scams

Few things upset me more than people who take advantage of the elderly. Ripping off defenceless elderly people of their hard-earned life savings is beyond any type of comprehension. And the sickening thing is that it’s only getting worse.

The number of cases that get reported are rapidly increasing! It’s appalling, but literally hundreds of people report being ripped off by con-artists and predators each week. And ripped off to the tune of hundreds, thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars before all is said and done!

These cases often start out the same way. The predator earns the elderly person’s trust. This is done over a period of time. In one case, someone stole a large amount of one couple’s life savings. He won over their trust and managed to convince them to remove tens of thousands of dollars from their bank account for what he called, “safe keeping.”

This couple wasn’t rich; the majority of them aren’t and they couldn’t afford to lose so much money. They were completely wiped out! The man was arrested but there’s almost no chance to recover their losses. This is not a unique story. It’s difficult to open a newspaper, listen to the radio or watch a news broadcast without hearing about yet another one.

I am all but convinced that in many respects the Internet can be to blame. Remember back before the Internet existed, the best and easiest way to take from someone else was stealing their purse or wallet. It was cruel and assuming that nobody got hurt, the worst thing to worry about was a lifted credit card or a driver’s license. It meant a day in court, assuming the thief was apprehended, and a few days of frustration replacing the contents of the wallet or purse.

Today it just seems that many predators carefully plan and target their victims. Guile, patience and a twinge of evil is what it takes to pull off these selfish and abhorrent crimes.

How can someone really and truly feel satisfaction after he’s ripped off a vulnerable and trusting person – especially victims who may have spent their entire lives working and saving to prepare for their golden years?  Sadly there are people who do.

If you think it can’t happen to you or your parents, grandparents, your friends or other members of your family, think again! It’s time to get educated and be aware of the scams that are potentially out there.  Be wary of strangers or “new friends” who offer financial products or “can’t miss” financial opportunities.  Don’t be a victim!


Until next time,

Peace, love and vitamin C!


Jennifer Pretty began her career as the director of artist development for a well-known Canadian music label. Branching out on her own, she then started her own PR business “Pretty Media Management” planning and hosting various charity, entertainment and fashion events. As a dance and fitness class enthusiast Jennifer is a firm believer in the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. She also loves to cook, travel, spend time with family and friends and most importantly living life to the fullest!