Anatomy of a Financial Scam on the Elderly

A client of Kiplinger columnist Steve Goldberg was conned out of $1.3 million.

It was a late-night phone message that tipped off Steve Goldberg, a Washington, D.C., investment adviser, that something was amiss. Goldberg was startled by a request from a broker to wire $270,000 from a wealthy -- and elderly -- client to a bank in London. Immediately, Goldberg smelled a rat.

The client (we’ll call him Mr. Smith) had previously mentioned that he expected a big inheritance, but his reluctance to offer details raised Goldberg’s suspicions. So he told the broker to delay the transfer.

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Kevin McCormally
Chief Content Officer, Kiplinger Washington Editors
McCormally retired in 2018 after more than 40 years at Kiplinger. He joined Kiplinger in 1977 as a reporter specializing in taxes, retirement, credit and other personal finance issues. He is the author and editor of many books, helped develop and improve popular tax-preparation software programs, and has written and appeared in several educational videos. In 2005, he was named Editorial Director of The Kiplinger Washington Editors, responsible for overseeing all of our publications and Web site. At the time, Editor in Chief Knight Kiplinger called McCormally "the watchdog of editorial quality, integrity and fairness in all that we do." In 2015, Kevin was named Chief Content Officer and Senior Vice President.