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Seniors are vulnerable to scam artists

October 05, 2012

Re: “Life savings lost to scam,” Sept. 29: Had I not experienced first-hand how clever these scammers are, I would not have believed it. A family friend fell into their hands and was hounded by them, even after he had passed away at 90 years old. He, too, was promised millions and a Mercedes.

Picking up his mail after he moved away, pounds of it every week, it is hard to believe how many of these scams exist and flourish. They originate from all over the world — China, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Jamaica, Hungary — and send convincing documents with gold-embossed seals, personalized with your name written all over.

It cannot be stressed enough how vulnerable older people can become. Even if they are told by friends and relatives that they are being scammed, they often don't believe it, so convinced that these scammers are their best friends because they patiently listen to them for hours and in the process find out all about the victim’s family and friends, their aches and pains. They develop a relationship bordering on dependency. I hope your article is a warning for many trapped in those schemes.

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Lilo Holzer
Glendale

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