Family says 91-year-old Rockland woman is victim of credit card fraud

ROCKLAND, Mass. — According to our sister station at WFXT, Elaine Concannon has been battling her 91-year-old mother’s credit card company for more than a year after she said dozens of fraudulent charges totally more than $3,000 suddenly showed up on her statement in 2022.


“It’s terrible for anybody that has an elderly parent,” Concannon said. “She was 89 [years old] at the time and she kind of just put it aside.”

Concannon said the problem started after her mother vacationed in Florida with her grandchildren in the fall of 2022. The following month, Concannon said dozens of charges totally $3,062.67 appearing to be from various Texas energy companies showed up on her mother’s statement. Concannon said her mother has never been to Texas and doesn’t know how her credit card information became compromised.

“She didn’t do anything wrong. She was having fun at Disney [World] and then someone started having fun with her credit card,” Concannon said.

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Concannon tried to dispute the charges with Citibank for more than a year. Documents show the case was closed by Citibank because the family’s “information wasn’t sufficient to resolve the dispute.” A Citibank spokesperson told Boston 25 they’re looking into the situation.

Concannon’s issue comes on the heels of a recent report that says Massachusetts residents over the age of 60 lost more than $70 million to fraud in 2022. The cybersecurity website VPNPro analyzed 2022 fraud data from the FBI and FTC and found Massachusetts had a total of 1,653 fraud victims over the age of 60 with an average loss of $42,408 lost per victim.

“As a retiree or soon-to-be retiree, you’re one of the markets [criminals] go after,” said Rob Fitzgerald, a cybersecurity consultant with Blue Mantis. “They want you for your 401k, your real estate trust or your social security check. They can grab your credentials and your credit cards and before you’re even aware, they can max those [accounts] out.”

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VPNPro found people aged 60 and older were 517 percent more likely to be victims of an online tech support scam than those aged between 18 and 59. The most successful types of fraud targeting seniors involved investment scams, business imposter scams and romance scams, VPNPro found.

Better Business Bureau spokesperson Paula Fleming said it’s important for grown children to have conversations with parents about preventing fraud.

“Sit down and show them these scams are happening. Give them examples. Tell them to not provide personal or financial information over the phone.”

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The BBB has a section on its website dedicated to helping older adults avoid scams, including a list of red flags they should watch for:

  • “Free,” “low cost,” or “buy one, get one” deal
  • Request for unusual payment types (i.e. prepaid debit cards or wired funds)
  • Claims that you only pay postage or administrative fees
  • Pressure to act now and/or aggressive tones
  • Deals that must be secured with a credit card or bank account information
  • Sure-fire investment opportunities
  • Charities that send 100% of your donation directly to the victim

Concannon recommends families pay close attention to older parent’s bank accounts and credit card statements.

“If you have elderly parents just start watching their credit card bills as they come in,” she said.

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