Elder Fraud: Turning Victims into Accomplices | CNext - Century Next Bank | Lincoln | Ouachita | Ashley County

CNext Blog

More Blog Posts

It's Time for Financial Spring Cleaning! (4/5/24)Century Next Financial Corporation Ranked #25 (2/26/24)Advantages of Community Banks (2/23/24)Safe Deposit Box Basics (2/1/24)It's a new year, so let's talk saving and budgeting! (1/8/24)Too good to be true? It probably is... (9/19/23)CNext Town Talk: Our Monroe Branch (9/12/23)CNext Town Talk: Our Crossett Branches (9/5/23)CNext Town Talk: Our Ruston Locations (8/29/23)CNext Town Talk: Our West Monroe Branch (8/22/23)CNext Town Talk: Our Hamburg Branch (8/15/23)Imposter Scams (2/22/23)Check Fraud is on the Rise! (2/14/23)Nick Austin Named Ashley County Market President (1/18/23)Fraud Attempts at Walmart.com (10/26/22)Operations Appreciation Week (10/14/22)Shazam Fraud Monitoring (10/3/22)Bank with Locals (8/29/22)Spotting A Romance Scam (3/17/22)Online Dating Scams (2/17/22)Improving Credit Scores (8/10/21)How to Spot, Stop, & Report Government Imposter Scams (7/19/21)Phishing: Don't Take the Bait (7/13/21)Money Mule Scams (7/6/21)Imposter Scams: Say No, Keep Your Dough (6/28/21)Busting Homebuying Myths (3/15/21)Electronic Banking: Online Shopping Safety Tips (3/8/21)Protect Yourself from Coronavirus Scams (3/1/21)Bank Statement Security (2/24/21)Debit Card Safety Tips (12/21/20)How To Avoid Phishing Scams (12/1/20)Personal Information Precautions and Third Party Apps (11/6/20)5 ATM Safety Tips (10/20/20)4 Ways To Protect Your Passwords (9/22/20)SBA Streamlines PPP Forgiveness Application for Many PPP Borrowers (6/22/20)Is My Money Safe in the Bank During the Coronavirus Outbreak or Other Unexpected Situations? (4/3/20)8 Financial Tips for College Freshmen (9/26/19)Teacher Spotlight (9/20/19)Teacher Feature: Sarah Wages (9/13/19)Ashley County Teacher Spotlight (9/3/19)Ouachita Parish Back-to-School Edition (8/27/19)Teachers Impact Our Community (8/21/19)Hometown Heroes: Gage Selby and Tori Simmons (7/12/19)Hometown Heroes: Carolyn & Devin Chadwick (7/5/19)More New Faces at Century Next Bank (6/28/19)Century Next of Ashley County Welcomes New Employees (6/20/19)Introducing New Faces in our Century Next Family (6/14/19)Thank You For Being On The Journey Into The Next Century With Us! (6/4/19)The Heart | New Name. Same People. Same Priority. (2/7/19)Bank of Ruston Changes Name to Century Next Bank (2/1/19)BOR + FNBC | A Personal Story (1/29/19)How To Purchase A Home (8/15/18)Safe Deposit Box Etiquette (7/25/18)Bank of Ruston is Growing (5/22/18)Six Tips for Your Financial Spring Cleaning (5/15/18)Beneficial Ownership Requirements for Legal Entity Accounts (5/9/18)

Elder Fraud: Turning Victims into Accomplices

Tuesday, May 14, 2024Written by: Charles Young, CIA, CAMS, CRCM, CFSA, CICA

By now, you’re probably exhausted from hearing about the common schemes scammers use to defraud seniors out of their money. And you probably think, “That could never happen to me or anyone I know.” 

In 2023, however, fraud complaints filed by individuals over age 60 increased by 11% over 2022, totaling 101,068 instances of reported elder fraud to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The associated amounts involved with these complaints in 2023 reached $3.4 billion (FBI, 2023). That’s right, BILLION!elder-fraud-graphic.jpg

Let’s face it. As much as we don’t want to admit, it can happen to us or someone we know. The odds are not in our favor unless we educate others and ourselves to these criminal activities. Between romance, tech support, lottery/sweepstakes, investment, and grandparent scams - just to name a few- our seniors are finding themselves inundated with fraud. 

What’s worse, criminals are doubling down and getting our seniors to help them with their crimes. More commonly, scammers are turning romance scam victims into Money Mules, whether the victims know it or not. A money mule is someone who transfers or moves illegally obtained money on behalf of another person; they add a layer of distance between the victims of crimes and the criminals. Acting as a money mule is a crime, even if you do not realize that is what you are doing. Scam victims who act as money mules can be held liable for their actions – actions they are convinced are innocent tasks to help their newly-found romantic interest. 

Just ask Glenda Seim, an 81-year-old female who met a scammer in 2014. The scammer proceeded to use their budding romance to have Glenda conduct various fraudulent transactions to send her “love” the financial proceeds. Mrs. Seim was sent counterfeit and stolen checks to deposit into her bank accounts, as well as receive various unemployment benefits for people she did not know (Mowers, 2022); after conducting a myriad of activity to get money, she would forward the illicit funds to the person she thought was the new love of her life… a.k.a. the scammer! Mrs. Seim did all this even though she had never talked to or met her romantic partner in person. 

Despite multiple warnings from law enforcement and her bank that the individual she was communicating with was a scammer, Mrs. Seim continued to engage in this fraudulent activity. On November 2, 2021, Mrs. Seim plead guilty to two federal felonies that involved upwards of $1.5 million in transactions. Mrs. Seim is now serving her five-year sentence and is having to repay the scam victims who she helped to defraud. You can watch Mrs. Seim tell her story here: Victim of Romance Scam Who Became Money Mule Tells Story 

Let Mrs. Seim’s story provide encouragement to approach internet connections with skepticism…especially when people you’ve met online begin asking for financial assistance. The FBI (FBI, 2024) offers a list of steps you can take to protect yourself or a loved one, which includes recognizing scam attempts and ending all communication with the perpetrator, as well as resisting the pressure to act quickly. They also recommend that you never give or send any personally identifiable information or money to unverified people or businesses. 

If you have become a victim of fraud or if you know of someone who may have been the victim of elder fraud, you can contact your local FBI and file a complaint with the IC3 at ic3.gov. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help! Involve a trusted friend or family member when someone you met online is suddenly talking about money.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and protecting yourself can prevent you from falling for a scam that could cost you thousands of dollars or, even worse, have you serving time all in the name of love.

 

References
FBI. (2023). Internet Crime Complaint Center. Retrieved from 2023 Elder Fraud Report: https://www.ic3.gov/Media/PDF/AnnualReport/2023_IC3ElderFraudReport.pdf

FBI. (2024). How We Can Help You. Retrieved from Elder Fraud: https://www.fbi.gov/how-we-can-help-you/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes/elder-fraud

Mowers, J. (2022, March 7). Woman Sentenced After Helping Scam Artist. Retrieved from Webster-Kirkwood Times: https://www.timesnewspapers.com/webster-kirkwoodtimes/woman-sentenced-after-helping-scam-artist/article_1b2ae9e0-9b02-11ec-bb64-5ff45577d3b2.html

 





Article by: Charles Young, CIA, CAMS, CRCM, CFSA, CICA

Charles Young, CIA, CAMS, CRCM, CFSA, CICA Image
Tags: Education


More Blog Posts

It's Time for Financial Spring Cleaning! (4/5/24)Century Next Financial Corporation Ranked #25 (2/26/24)Advantages of Community Banks (2/23/24)Safe Deposit Box Basics (2/1/24)It's a new year, so let's talk saving and budgeting! (1/8/24)Too good to be true? It probably is... (9/19/23)CNext Town Talk: Our Monroe Branch (9/12/23)CNext Town Talk: Our Crossett Branches (9/5/23)CNext Town Talk: Our Ruston Locations (8/29/23)CNext Town Talk: Our West Monroe Branch (8/22/23)CNext Town Talk: Our Hamburg Branch (8/15/23)Imposter Scams (2/22/23)Check Fraud is on the Rise! (2/14/23)Nick Austin Named Ashley County Market President (1/18/23)Fraud Attempts at Walmart.com (10/26/22)Operations Appreciation Week (10/14/22)Shazam Fraud Monitoring (10/3/22)Bank with Locals (8/29/22)Spotting A Romance Scam (3/17/22)Online Dating Scams (2/17/22)Improving Credit Scores (8/10/21)How to Spot, Stop, & Report Government Imposter Scams (7/19/21)Phishing: Don't Take the Bait (7/13/21)Money Mule Scams (7/6/21)Imposter Scams: Say No, Keep Your Dough (6/28/21)Busting Homebuying Myths (3/15/21)Electronic Banking: Online Shopping Safety Tips (3/8/21)Protect Yourself from Coronavirus Scams (3/1/21)Bank Statement Security (2/24/21)Debit Card Safety Tips (12/21/20)How To Avoid Phishing Scams (12/1/20)Personal Information Precautions and Third Party Apps (11/6/20)5 ATM Safety Tips (10/20/20)4 Ways To Protect Your Passwords (9/22/20)SBA Streamlines PPP Forgiveness Application for Many PPP Borrowers (6/22/20)Is My Money Safe in the Bank During the Coronavirus Outbreak or Other Unexpected Situations? (4/3/20)8 Financial Tips for College Freshmen (9/26/19)Teacher Spotlight (9/20/19)Teacher Feature: Sarah Wages (9/13/19)Ashley County Teacher Spotlight (9/3/19)Ouachita Parish Back-to-School Edition (8/27/19)Teachers Impact Our Community (8/21/19)Hometown Heroes: Gage Selby and Tori Simmons (7/12/19)Hometown Heroes: Carolyn & Devin Chadwick (7/5/19)More New Faces at Century Next Bank (6/28/19)Century Next of Ashley County Welcomes New Employees (6/20/19)Introducing New Faces in our Century Next Family (6/14/19)Thank You For Being On The Journey Into The Next Century With Us! (6/4/19)The Heart | New Name. Same People. Same Priority. (2/7/19)Bank of Ruston Changes Name to Century Next Bank (2/1/19)BOR + FNBC | A Personal Story (1/29/19)How To Purchase A Home (8/15/18)Safe Deposit Box Etiquette (7/25/18)Bank of Ruston is Growing (5/22/18)Six Tips for Your Financial Spring Cleaning (5/15/18)Beneficial Ownership Requirements for Legal Entity Accounts (5/9/18)

Top