Telemarketing scams have been around for years. Yet, people continue to fall victim to them. Often, scammers view older adults as ideal targets since they are low risk and typically have robust retirement savings.
You can protect your loved ones by teaching them about phone, computer, and marketing scams. Sharing this information helps them implement precautious and safety strategies, thereby reducing their risk to current scams.
Why Scammers Target Seniors
Here are some of the reasons your aging loved one might be on the scammers’ radar:
- Financial Resources: Seniors work hard to save for retirement. They often have a large “nest egg” in the bank. Scammers want access to that money.
- Cognitive Decline: When someone starts experiencing memory issues or cognitive decline, it leaves them more susceptible. Scammers take advantage of the situation by applying pressure to encourage the person to share their personal information.
- Loneliness: Older adults often experience loneliness and want companionship. Scammers manipulate seniors by offering companionship or friendship.
- Trusting: When seniors aren’t educated about the risks of scams, they are more trusting and polite with the people they meet. In addition, older adults have a harder time hanging up the phone or saying “no.”
- Reporting Fraud: The person might not know that they’ve been scammed for weeks or months after the occurrence. They means they don’t report the scam. Or the victim might not know how to report the crime. Other times, aging adults are ashamed that they fell for the scam and keep it a secret.
Educating Older Adults
Families who are proactive about educating senior family members can help reduce the risk of scammers getting through. Teach your loved ones about the most common telemarketing scams, many of which have been covered here on our website. Popular senior scams include medical identity theft, insurance fraud, charity schemes, and more.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal or medical advice.