Fraud Against Seniors
Image Credit: Don Hankins

There are many bad people out there who make a living by defrauding others. Unfortunately, senior citizens are prime targets of frauds and scams. Senior citizens of today were raised in a more trusting environment. Naturally they are more polite and more trusting. Civilized traits as such have become attractive to scammers who will try to exploit them for their advantage and commit fraud against seniors. Please read this information provided by the FBI.

While the government does their best to fight fraud against seniors and there are laws against taking advantage of the elderly, it would be in your best interest to detect scams before you become a victim. In this article, we will go over types of scams targeting senior citizens, what you can do about it and how to detect suspicious approaches before it hits you. And, please do share this article on your Facebook and with other colleagues so that everybody will be aware of the various types of fraud against seniors.

Types of Scams Against Seniors

Scams can make its way into your life in many different ways. They are usually after your finances. Sometimes, they will try to steal your identity. Let us debunk some of the methods used by con artists so that you can stay alert.

TeleMarketing Fraud Against Seniors

I personally don’t even answer unknown calls. If you ever get a call from someone who is “excited” to inform that you’ve won a prize or free vacation or something similar, it usually is a scam. There is no such thing called “free”! If they pressure you to act on their offers, you should stay away from it.

Even if you think it would be rude to hang up the phone, do not give them any personal information and more importantly NEVER EVER give them your credit card details. They are master of con jobs. They will often make you feel now or never. Do not believe in such things. Always consult with your family before taking any actions. FBI has some good tips on their website to help you stay alert.

Shopping Scams Against Elders

Shopping scams against seniors are little hard to detect. They will not try to outright rob you blind but will try to sell you a worthless product using overhyped sales pitch technique. It can happen through telemarketing, online or in person. Weight loss products, anti aging creams, paid secret dating tips, are some of the examples of products they will try to sell. Below are some of the tips how you can protect yourself against such scams.

  • Take your time to make a decision to purchase any such things.
  • Consult with your family members before making any purchase.
  • If it is a legit deal, chances are you have somehow heard about it before. If it is something you have never heard of before, be skeptical.
  • Use Google to search the product and read the reviews of other people. If no one (or very few) is talking about it online, be skeptical.
  • Do not buy anything from the unknown websites. Stick to Amazon, Best Buy, Macy’s, Sears and other well known websites to buy online. Do not buy anything from a website that has name of another company in their name. For example, www.discountshoesfromAdidas.com has Adidas in their name but it is not owned by the Adidas company. You should stay away from such websites.
  • If there are many pop-ups on the website, you should be skeptical.
  • If a website claims you are their 100,000th visitor or something similar and you’ve won something, ignore it. They will usually ask you for your email address. Do not give them your personal details.

Other Tips for Seniors to Fight Against Scams and Frauds

  • Do not believe if someone claims to be an IRS agent and you owe back-taxes. They will try to threaten you to prosecute if you do not act right away. Simply hang up the phone and consult with your family members. I would even call the law enforcement and report it.
  • Do not trust the websites that claim to sell you prescription drugs for a cheap price. They are usually counterfeit prescription drugs which is bad for your health as well as your finances.
  • In what is widely known as the grandparent scam, the scammer will call elderly people and make them guess who he is. Whoever the victim guessed, they will say yes you are correct. Then they might solicit money through money transfer agencies. Be careful of such scam artists!
  • You might get unsolicited calls for donation usually right after disasters. Make sure they are legit and are tax exempt.
  • Do not open emails from unknown sources. Even if you did, do not click on any links contained in the email if it is not from a known source.
  • Keep your anti-virus up-to date to keep your computer free of malware. Certain Malware can track your behaviors and steal your credit card information.
  • Never download anything from the internet. Unless you know what you are doing, talk to your children or grand children for help.

More Fraud Against Senior Schemes

Please read the articles below as they contain useful information about fraud against seniors.

How To Report Fraud And Crimes Against Elderly

If you ever became a victim of fraud, scam or crime, you should immediately report it to the authorities. Even if you prevented yourself from being a victim of fraud against seniors, you should report. Government uses the complaints and reports to create a data of common fraud patterns and can alert other seniors about it. AARP has a full list of agencies where you can and should report fraud. Please visit AARP website to report fraud against seniors.

We are sorry that you as a Senior citizen have to do all these things to keep yourself safe but it is what it is and the world is getting more and more vicious. Please share this article with your friends so that they can be aware of the fraud against seniors as well. Thank you and god bless.

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