A common financial abuse scam against the elderly is a call from someone allegedly representing the IRS demanding tax payments with threats of penalties. These calls often are received late at night and can be very confusing to anyone, but particularly disturbing to an elder living alone. The elderly are reticent to report if they are the victim of a phone scam. (see: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/consumer-protection/preventing-elder-abuse/index.htm).
It is difficult to crack these phone rings because they are believed to be centered in other countries. Federal authorities, however, recently announced the rest of several people alleged to be part of an international phone scam. See 10/27/16 article "Feds Smash Scam Network that Fleeced Bay Area Victims" at: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Feds-smash-scam-network-that-fleeced-Bay-Area-10417746.php.