Even when it’s staring them in the face, it’s unnerving how easily an elderly person can miss a financial scam. Granted, younger family members can often spot scams a mile away. But why do older people fall victim, even when it seems so obvious?
Despite seniors’ many years of experience, today’s world has changed drastically. Technology and communication have created opportunities to reach people worldwide. While much good comes from the use of technology, so does abuse of the system. Here are three reasons why seniors are often targeted by scammers:
- Companionship: Many people in retirement are isolated. They may have lost a spouse or had family members move away. This social isolation can leave the person more open to developing friendships outside of their family. It’s understandable and healthy for seniors to desire companionship. But as trust with the stranger develops, it can create an opportunity for unscrupulous scammers to take advantage of the situation.
- Financial Insecurity: When someone is worried about her financial outlook in retirement, it can increase the possibility that she will take unnecessary financial risks. A seemingly good investment might appear to be the solution to overcome a financial shortfall. But the scam could leave the person with an empty bank account.
- Cognitive Impairment: Even if the senior seems to be in good health, cognition can diminish with time. Even the slightest impairment could mean that the person didn’t see the scam coming. In fact, researchers have suggested that financial judgment is often the first thing to go when someone develops Alzheimer’s.
- Scam Reporting: When seniors are victimized, it’s common to feel shame or embarrassment. As a result, it’s unlikely that the scam will be reported to the authorities. Reporting the scam is one of the most important things that can be done to prevent the risk of others falling victim.
Do you need help in reducing the risk that your loved one will fall victim to a financial scam? For more information about common scams, or options for reporting, contact us at any time. Email info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or call 858-480-7551. Senior Safe and Sound.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal advice.