Top 10 financial scams targeting seniors you need to know

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - They've been called "the crime of the 21st century."

Financial scams targeting seniors continue to grow and thieves are getting more and more creative.

Cleveland 19 is getting answers on some of the top scams you need to know about, so you don't get fooled.

Seniors are prime targets because scammers think they have plenty of money saved up in their bank accounts.

And you don't have to be wealthy to become a target.

Here's a look at the top 10 financial scams targeting seniors, according to the National Council on Aging.

1.            Medicare/health insurance

2.            Counterfeit prescription drugs

3.            Funeral & cemetery

4.            Fraudulent anti-aging products

5.            Telemarketing/phone scams

6.            Internet fraud

7.            Investment schemes

8.            Homeowner/reverse mortgage

9.            Sweepstakes & lottery

10.          Grandparent

You've probably been warned before about Medicare and investment scams and phone and internet fraud.

But have you heard of funeral and cemetery scams?

In these cases, thieves scan obituaries or even attend funerals of strangers to take advantage of grieving widows or widowers.

They claim the loved one who died left behind a large amount of debt and you need to pay up.

The grandparent scam is another big one.

Scammers try to tug at your heart strings. They call a senior and say "hi Grandma, is this you?"

When the grandparent guesses the name of a grandchild, they go with it.

They ask you to wire money for emergencies like car repairs or overdue rent.

You may think most scammers are strangers, especially when it comes to phone and internet scams.

But sadly, that's not the case.

Over 90 percent of reported elder abuse is committed by family members, according to the National Council on Aging.

If you think you've been a victim of a scam, you can report it to your local police and the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

Copyright 2018 WOIO. All rights reserved.