Avoiding Scams and Fraud
Con artists and scammers target senior citizens as victims for their scams. Luckily, there are warning signs and ways to avoid being scammed.
Why Are Senior Citizens Scammed?
Almost anybody can be a target for scammers. Unfortunately, senior citizens are often targeted for a couple of reasons. Here are some reasons why seniors are scammed:
- They often have an accumulation of assets. Over a lifetime, people can accumulate valuable possessions and money that scammers may be seeking.
- They may live alone. If a senior citizen lives alone, they are an easier target for scammers because they are not living with others who may recognize the scam more readily.
- They may be interested in expanding their limited fixed income. Many senior citizens live off a fixed income from some type of retirement fund or program. Because monthly funds may be limited, it is easy to want to expand income.
- They are more easily reached by phone and are at home more often. Because most senior citizens do not have full-time employment, they are typically at home more often than some younger generations. Some of the younger generations are not as willing to answer phone calls or do not have home phones where they can easily be reached.
- They have a tendency to be more trusting. Some senior citizens can be more trusting than younger generations which makes them more susceptible to and trusting of scammers.
How Does Being Scammed Feel?
As you may imagine, being scammed is not a good feeling. Falling victim to fraud can lead to the following negative feelings:
Unfortunately, because of these horrible feelings, victims of scamming may be too embarrassed to report the crime and, thus, the con artist goes unpunished and unstopped.
How to Avoid Scams
Many scammers present exciting thoughts or opportunities for their victims. This is why it is easy to want to do what the scammer asks. Here are a couple of tips for avoiding falling victim to scamming:
- Ask many questions. Ask as many questions as you can and look for fallacies in what they say. If they continually change their offer and what they are saying, they are likely a scammer.
- Before you sign a contract, check with law enforcement or the BBB. Before you agree to any deal or sign a contract, check to make sure that the person or business is legitimate. You can check with your local law enforcement or your local Better Business Bureau.
- If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If someone presents you with an unbelievable deal, it is probably a scam. It's easy to believe in and you want to do what it takes to get a great deal, but be very wary.
Find out More Tips
To find out more tips for seniors, check out our Health Library.
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