Retiring with enough money to live comfortably can be a challenge in itself. But for some retirees the biggest problem isn’t how much they retired with. It’s that they’re being scammed out of it. Romance scams are among the most common scams now, largely because a lot of people were very lonely during lockdowns.
That’s especially true of the elderly, since they were more vulnerable and frequently had to stay away from their families for long periods of time. Just in 2020 alone, people 60 years of age and older were scammed out of $139 million. A lot of times the scammer reaches out through social media.
They start making claims that they’re working overseas, and that they’re a career professional. After they get a bond established with their target they start talking about a future with that person. They say they want to meet in person, and they also ask for money. People borrow from family and friends, drain their retirement accounts, and even remortgage their homes.
Younger people can be scammed, too, but most of the romance scams target older people. The combination of loneliness and having more money can make this demographic a significant target for many scammers. The median amount lost to a romance scam is $9,000, but some retirees lose far more than that.
Match Group, the company behind the popular dating site Match.com, was even sued by the FTC in 2019. The case was ultimately dismissed by a federal court in Texas, but the argument was that the platform didn’t try to stop fraudulent people from disguising who they really were and trying to scam people.
After the lawsuit was dismissed the company created a public awareness campaign designed to make it easier for people to spot scammers, and instructing them on what kinds of red flags they should be looking for. In short, don’t trust random people who can’t be truthfully identified and never, ever send money to someone you don’t know and haven’t met in person.
Estate planning helps you manage and secure your assets while you are alive. Careful planning can save money on court costs and reduce the anxiety surrounding your estate so that you can enjoy your life and focus on your family. Proper planning can help lower or eliminate estate taxes and other expenses linked to inheritance, such as probate. Contact us today to learn more!