Defending against scammers


Con artists can scam anyone, but it seems as if they target senior citizens more than any other demographic. This is mainly due to a large nest egg seniors have built up over the years. While we would never want to think of this happening to one of our loved ones, the truth is, it can happen to anyone.
Below are some common frauds to watch out for:

  • Grandchild in Distress. A scammer will call an Older American and address them as “grandma” or “grandpa.” If the scammer sounds anything like a grandchild, the senior citizen may call the scammer by that child’s name. The scammer will then spin a tale of woe—they were in an accident or they were arrested or they were stranded, and they need money wired to them immediately.
  • Trouble with the Law. This scam comes in the form of someone saying the senior citizen failed to do something—such as failing to pay some tax or failing to show up for jury duty. The scammer will claim there is a warrant out for the senior citizen’s arrest, and they can either pay a fine immediately or have an officer come handcuff them.
  • You Won the Lottery. Here, the scammer will say the senior citizen has won money in a foreign lottery. But, in order to get the payment, the senior citizen is told that they will have to pay upfront taxes and fees.
  • Utilities will be Shut Off. The scammer will call up and claim to be someone from the local utility company. They will claim that the utility bill is overdue, and the senior citizen must pay immediately if they do not want their services cut off.


If you or a loved one has been a victim of one of these schemes, call the authorities and then contact us at Heartland Bank and have the payments stopped.


Heartland Bank, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender