Scammers target people with disabilities

Scammers target people with disabilities

By Greg Collier

We’ve seen no end to the depths that scammers will sink to. We’ve seen them take advantage of disaster victims, the elderly, crime victims, the families of missing persons, and those desperate for housing just to name a few. While we’re sure it’s far from a new thing, we just came across a story where the scammers were purposely targeting people with disabilities. To be more specific, the scammers were targeting those with hearing difficulties.

An Indiana woman was recently convicted in Federal Court for scamming a Pennsylvania couple out of $500,000. While the report doesn’t say which particular scam was used against the Pennsylvania couple, the woman was said to use a combination of scams. One of the scams was a variation of the sweepstakes scam. The victims were contacted by text, email or social media and were told that they had won a special ‘deaf’ lottery, but they had to pay taxes and processing fees before they could receive the prize.

The other scam used was said to be the grant scam. Victims were told that they could receive federal grant money. But just like the sweepstakes scam, the victims would need to pay a fee before they receive the grant. The scammers even hijacked social media accounts to make it look like the grant offer was coming from a friend.

If the victims made an initial payment, the scammers would continue to try to squeeze more money out of their victims for as long as they could.

The Indiana woman worked as part of an international scam ring that is said to have scammed millions from victims with the woman taking a cool million for herself. We’re pretty confident that these scammers would steal candy from babies if there was any money in it.

It is actually illegal to charge someone for entering a sweepstakes or charging them to get their prize. That is why sweepstakes always say that no purchase is necessary. As for grants, there are no fees associated with applying for grants. Also keep in mind that the government will not reach out to you to offer grants. You have to approach them. Communication from the government is almost always done through the postal mail.