AARP Warns Senior Citizens about Schemes during Holidays

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PHARR – The holidays are a prime time for criminals to target senior citizens. That’s according to AARP in Texas.

Criminals continue to find ways to take money with false advertisements, whether it’s by mail, phone or the internet.

Sylvia Perez works at Brook Ridge Retirement Community and has been since opening day 25 years ago.

Perez said she’s seen the different tactics thieves use to take advantage of residents.

“There’s always something different and they always seem to get really smart on ways to do it,” she said.

Irene Lee lives at the center and she recently received a suspicious call.

“It’s been like I’ve had before. The same kind of a call, several times,” she said.

Lee is no stranger to this type of fraud. The recent caller requested cash, but no mention of an organization.

Lee’s friend, Kathryn Fritsch, also gets similar calls.

“There’s so many that come out looking to get money for nothing,” she said.

Both women know they should ask whose calling and why to ensure the call isn’t phony. AARP in Texas said senior citizens are targets because they typically have savings and assets.

They’re a source of easy money for criminals looking to make hundreds in a single call.

Phone calls aren’t the only tactics Perez has seen. She said mail-in requests also trickle into their facility.

“If there’s a phone number but normally there isn’t. It’s always just mail it in and so we’ll say, you know what I don’t think you need to do this,” Perez said.

The people at the retirement center said they are staying alert making sure no one takes advantage of their giving spirit during the holidays.

AARP said seniors should never send money without verifying that the person or organization on the receiving end is legitimate.

Known Tactics Used According to AARP

  • Phony lottery or sweepstakes seeking upfront fees to enter or collect.
  • Government imposters posing as reps from Social Security and Medicare.
  • Offers for free or discount medications.
  • Credit card fraud and investment schemes.


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