The elderly are preferred targets for scammers. Staff working in retail are taught to question customers if they come in asking for $2,500 in gift cards. 80 year old Betty who shuffled into Walmart for $2000 worth of gift cards raises alarms and so it **should**. She’s almost certainly in the process of being scammed. Do you know what makes things worse? When Betty has been convinced that she **needs** to buy these gift cards and read the codes out to “Steven” in order for them to fix her computer. Sometimes these victims have to be sat down and persuaded that they are a victim of a scam and often they don’t want to hear it.
I work in the fraud department for a bank and I was dealing with a case where a woman had sent $40,000 over the space of a few months to her long-distance partner who she met online. He was in the military and was struggling financially but really wanted to fly out and meet her but there were lots of financial hurdles in the way. At one point, she went into the bank to withdraw a large amount of cash for him and when the cashier asked her what was the reason for the withdrawal she lied and told her it was for a sick relative, because that’s what her ‘long-distance partner’ told her to say if they asked. Of course, once all her money was gone and she had gone into debt to continue sending money to him, he stopped responding to her messages and calls. It then dawns on her that she’s been scammed. She calls us up to report it. What makes this case stick out in my mind is how adamant she was that it was our fault and that we needed to pay it back. In almost all cases like this it is very unlikely we can retrieve the money the victim sent and we rarely pay out of our own pocket if we’re not at fault.
Now, imagine an old man walks into his bank and wants to withdraw thousands of dollars and “put it into Crypto”. It could be a broker scam, an exchange scam, he could’ve been coached by the scammer to say that he wants to invest his money into Crypto but instead he is going to send 0.1 in BTC to some “tech support” so they can fix his laptop.
Now imagine if this elderly person has a *history* of being a victim of scams, but is woefully trusting of the cold calls receives or the pop ups on his laptop. Pair this with a victim who is also adamant that they’re not a victim of a scam and you have an unpleasant situation at the counter. Having the cops called to the actual bank is very rare. It would only be done if the suspected victim is being threatening or violent.