Building up your retirement savings is difficult and often takes a lifetime of hard work and careful planning. That's what makes it so painful when some of the country's most vulnerable citizens are targeted by scams that result in the loss of thousands of dollars.

This past Tuesday, New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman issued a consumer alert for five phone scams that have become commonplace and often show a spike during summer months. Oftentimes, these scams are able to fool unsuspecting senior citizens because they include details one would think scammers don't have access to.

Check out the slideshow below to see what you -- or a senior citizen you know -- have to be on the lookout for.

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Brian Stoffel has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Western Union. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.