Five popular scams against 'snowbird seniors'

As the holiday season approaches, many Baby Boomers and retirees look south for the winter to enjoy the warmer climate and sunny days.

But as reported recently by AARP, these ‘snowbirds’ can be in a vulnerable position when traveling to a new location, as they are often away from their core friends, family and familiar surroundings. And when they’re vulnerable, these Boomers and retirees can be easy picking for scammers.

Courtesy of AARP, here are four common scams targeting retirees to watch out for:

1/ Fake mechanic – When a shopper is in a store, a scammer looks for out out-of-state license plates, and disrupts the car’s engine. When the shopper returns to their car, the scammer might offer to help, but it’s just a front for robbery. Seniors should join organizations like AAA, especially if they are long-distance drivers.

2/ Pick-pockets – When seniors are out shopping, they may have slower response times than younger people. And snowbirds are good targets because they are likely to carry cash with them. It is recommended for seniors to keep their money in a safe place.

3/ Identity theft – Stealing information from credit cards or cell phones are ways scammers steal information from snowbird seniors. The best protection is by hiding important cards, and keeping track of all purchases regularly.

4/ Bank scam – One unique scam is when a fraudster approaches seniors outside a bank, posing as a bank official, and asks the victim to withdraw money and give it to this official to see if there are any tellers stealing money inside. AARP recommends not giving money to any stranger claiming to be an officer.

Once seniors  especially more vulnerable ‘snowbirds’ – can identify some of the biggest scams against older people, they can avoid any situations which seem suspicious.