Types of Fraud
The Grandparent Scam
This scam is exactly what it sounds like: a scammer taking advantage of an elderly person, specifically someone who is a grandparent. Scammers will reach out to the grandparent pretending to be a grandchild or a distant family member who is in need of immediate financial assistance.
Often, the story is that the family member is stuck somewhere such as in another state or country and they need financial assistance so they can make it back home safely. The scammer may request anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, which could be very risky for someone if they are on a fixed income.
The Debt Relief Scam
This scam involves a scammer posing as a representative of a debt relief company who is offering a person a chance to consolidate or eliminate debt. Since debt is something most people might have, this is a very open ended scam that is easy enough to initiate.
In most cases, a scammer will reach out to someone either on their own to initiate the scam with someone, however since people are often searching for debt relief online, many people might find an ad somewhere where a scammer is waiting to exploit them. This scam typically involves asking for a deposit as a method of good faith to open the "contract" for the debt relief, and this is where contact will cease and the person already in debt may have lost the last of their money.
The Lottery Scam
This scam involves a scammer reaching out to a person to inform them that they have won the lottery. Typically this is done in letter form by mail where they can craft very realistic documents to convince the recipient that they truly have won the lottery.
The crafted documents will not only mention the winnings as something in the million dollar ranges, but they also mention that in order to secure their winnings, they must act fast and pay the tax on the winnings in the form of a wire transfer. Once the "taxes" are paid, that's the end of the line.