Beware of the Latest Retirement Scams: Stay Informed, Stay Safe

Sadly, scammers see retirees as prime targets, capitalizing on their hard-earned savings. As technology evolves, so do the tactics of these fraudsters. Here’s a look at some of the latest retirement scams that have been making the rounds and how to protect yourself.

1. The “Pension Advance” Scam

This scam involves companies that offer retirees a lump sum in exchange for their future pension payments. While getting a large amount of money upfront might sound tempting, these deals often come with exorbitant interest rates and hidden fees. In the end, retirees may receive only a fraction of their pension’s value.

2. Fake Investment Opportunities

Scammers often present retirees with “exclusive” investment opportunities that promise high returns. These can range from investing in precious metals, real estate, or cryptocurrency. The catch? These investments are either nonexistent, highly risky, or outright fraudulent. Always research any investment opportunity thoroughly and consult with a trusted financial advisor.

3. The “Grandparent” Scam

In this emotional scam, a fraudster will call a retiree pretending to be a grandchild in distress, often claiming they’ve been arrested or in an accident. They’ll urgently request money for bail or medical expenses. Sometimes, you’ll even hear your grandchild’s voice on these calls! Creative scammers use technology to string words spoken by the child together. They get the audio from videos on TikTok or Facebook and use technology to create a fake message. Always verify such claims with other family members before sending any funds.

4. Medicare and Health Insurance Frauds

With retirees often requiring medical care, scammers have found a way to exploit this need. They might pose as Medicare representatives to get personal information or offer bogus health services for elderly patients and then bill Medicare. Always be wary of unsolicited calls from “Medicare” and never provide personal information over the phone.

5. Phishing Emails and Calls

Phishing scams have evolved and become more sophisticated. Retirees might receive emails or calls from “official” institutions, like banks, Social Security, or the IRS, asking for personal information or claiming an issue with their account. Remember, genuine institutions never ask for sensitive information via email or unsolicited calls.

6. Funeral and Cemetery Scams

It’s a sad reality that some scammers prey on grieving families. They might read obituaries and then claim the deceased had an outstanding debt. In another variation, disreputable funeral homes might capitalize on families’ unfamiliarity with funeral costs to add unnecessary charges.

7. The “Tech Support” Scam

Many retirees might not be tech-savvy, making them prime targets for this scam. Fraudsters will call, claiming to be from a well-known tech company, saying the retiree’s computer has a virus. They’ll ask for remote computer access and then steal personal information or charge for unnecessary “repairs.”

How to Protect Yourself from Scams

Awareness is the first line of defense against scams. Here are some general tips to stay safe:

  • Stay Informed: Regularly read about the latest scams. Scammers evolve, and so should your knowledge.
  • Verify: It probably is if something sounds too good to be true. Always verify the legitimacy of any offer or claim.
  • Protect Personal Information: Never give out personal information, like Social Security numbers or bank details, over the phone or email. If you believe the call is real, hang up and call your bank or Social Security directly. Do not use any phone numbers they supply. 
  • Consult: Talk to trusted family members or professionals before making financial decisions.

How to Report a Scam

Reporting a suspected scam is crucial for your protection and preventing others from falling victim. Depending on your location and the nature of the fraud, there are several places you can report to:

  1. Local Police: Always report scams, especially if you’ve lost money or personal information, to your local police department.
  2. Federal Trade Commission (FTC): In the U.S., the FTC accepts complaints through its website at They collect data on scams, which helps in their investigations.
  3. Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3): You can report online scams to the IC3, a collaboration between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. Their website is
  4. Better Business Bureau (BBB): If you’ve been scammed by a business, report it to the BBB at They can help mediate disputes and warn others about unscrupulous businesses.
  5. State Attorney General’s Office: Each U.S. state has an Attorney General’s office that handles consumer complaints. Check your state’s official website for contact details.
  6. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): If the scam involves a financial product or service, you can report it to the CFPB at
  7. For Non-U.S. Residents: Most countries have their own consumer protection agencies. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the appropriate agency in your country. For example, in the U.K., you’d report scams to Action Fraud.
  8. Social Media and Online Platforms: If you encounter scams on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or eBay, report them directly to the platform. They often have mechanisms in place to handle scam reports.

Remember, even if you haven’t lost money but suspect a scam, it’s still essential to report it. Your report can help authorities build a case against scammers and potentially prevent others from being victimized. By staying informed and vigilant, retirees can ensure they’re protected from the malicious intents of scammers. Remember, knowledge is power; in this case, it’s also the best protection.

Related article: