Financial fraud continues to be the fastest growing form of elder abuse. As the senior population in this country increases, so do the financial crimes committed against these vulnerable and trusting individuals. Elder abuse is particularly hard to combat because it frequently goes unreported, as do financial scams—making elder financial scams a relatively “low-risk” crime. Elderly victims are often confused, afraid or embarrassed to report crimes against them so the best way to protect your older loved ones is to educate them about common scams.
Below is additional information about common types of fraud against seniors as well as advice for seniors when approached by scammers.
How to Handle
Fake sweepstakes and telemarketing scams are the most common forms of fraud that impact seniors. Following is senior fraud prevention guidance from the National Crime Prevention Council, outlining five ways to make unwanted telemarketers go away. Remind seniors in your life that they can, and should, ask telemarketers to remove them from their call lists. If the telemarketers don’t, they’re breaking the law.
In addition to ensuring that seniors in your life know warning signs and scams to look out for, it’s important that they come to a loved one for advice before they take action when approached by someone asking for money or personal information. The best rule of thumb for seniors to avoid being victimized is to never provide personal information, and don’t send money or provide a credit card number to “verify,” “guarantee” or “process” a prize.
This information is provided with the understanding that the association is not engaged in rendering specific legal, accounting, or other professional services. If specific expert assistance is required, the services of a competent, professional person should be sought.
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