It is sad but true: scams against seniors happen very frequently. If you or your loved ones are not careful, you may find yourself the victim of a con artist looking to help you part with your money through some fast talking or clever deception. Con artists know that senior citizens are often especially vulnerable to their cons.
Why are Seniors Targeted?
While scammers and con artists target people of all ages, many of them specifically try to go after senior citizens because they know that these people tend to be more trusting and open. Senior citizens also may have a “nest egg” saved up that they want to invest in order to retire or help support future generations of their family.
Another big reason that senior citizens get targeted by scammers is that they may not be able to recall important details about these criminals because of the impact of aging on memory. Scammers know that they often have the best chance of getting away with a scam or attempted scam when targeting seniors, since they might not remember the thief’s name, face, or voice.
How to Identify Scams Against Seniors
A clever, skilled con artist can trick even those who consider themselves well-prepared for a scammer. However, there are a few things you should look for so that you can determine whether you are being presented with a legitimate offer or a con:
Take a good look at the person who is talking to you and compare it to the offer or deal they are extending. Identifying scams against seniors is one area where judging by appearances may actually help you. For example, if they are claiming to be a doctor or other type of medical specialist, do they have the right type of clothes on that a doctor might wear? Can they provide evidence that they are who they say they are? Some scammers will use disguises to hide their true identity, but you may be able to pick up on a physical clue to help you identify them as a fraud
If possible, verify their offer and its terms. Con artists are good at building urgency, which encourages their targets to simply take them at their word. Despite how good their deal might sound, always take time to verify it. If they claim to be representing a certain organization, for example, you can call that company and see if the offer is a real one
Trust your gut: in reality there are very few situations where a complete stranger will truly offer you the chance to make quick money or get something for free. If something that a stranger tells you seems suspicious or you have any doubts whatsoever about their authenticity, it is best to just walk away.
Even though these tips can go a long way towards helping you protect yourself and your family from scams against seniors, these scammers can still be hard to identify. Stay vigilant and do everything you can to learn about new scams that these criminals are using so that you can give yourself the best possible chance to avoid wasting your time and money on these cons.