Over one half of a million senior citizen scams reported yearly in the USA, many more are never reported by senior citizens. Since people are living longer due to medications to slow down their physical health problems, they have become the number one victim of scams today, they are being taken advantage of mainly through the internet and the phone but still some scams are done in person. The reasons are their memory is not what it use to be, many are under financial stress living on a fixed income. Especially the senior citizen who lives alone seems to be the biggest target, many are depressed and possibly even have some mental disabilities at this time in their lives. It all comes down to our senior citizens are vulnerable to being scammed easier than any other age, many do not have family who lives close in distance. The majority of senior citizens will fight against relocating to live with family until they have no choice, they are proud and stubborn with a heart of gold.
Everyone understands who the majority of the scammers are, your telemarketers and door-to-door sales people often take advantage of our senior citizens. Both are quick fancy talkers who are able to convince seniors to purchase their product or service, but I wish to focus on the few you might be surprised who have taken advantage of them as well. Professionals have taken advantage of our seniors, doctors and lawyers believe it or not has talked them into things. Volunteers at senior citizen centers have befriended people than scammed them after gaining their trust, some have signed over everything they own to these people. The worse of them is their own family, many relatives with financial problems and gambling plus even substance abuse has taken advantage of their own elderly family members.
After Being Scammed
Many people do not realize the emotional health symptoms a senior experiences after being taken advantage of, the majority of seniors who are victims are very innocent and trusting. They often trust complete strangers without even having any feelings this person might not be who they pretend to me, most of the victims are people who would give whatever they possibly could to help someone in need. After being taken advantage of many victims experience anxiety and depression, often they cannot believe the person lied to them. Many lose their own self-confidence, many even blame themselves. The majority of victims will not report the scam, they are too embarrassed plus they do not want their family to know. Crazy as this might sound many are not even aware they have been scammed, sadly there has even been cases where the victim attempted suicide. What is our society becoming to steal from the elderly, many family members are stealing from grandma without her even realizing it. Many sign papers without knowing what they are signing, they trust the person or business and without any suspicion sign over a ton of money and sometimes even their home.
Here are a few scams which have taken advantage of the elderly, it is a shame we must be so suspicious of everyone we do not know. Be careful you can not judge a book by it’s cover is very true in this case, there has been people you would never expect to do such a terrible thing. Caregivers who come into the home must be monitored carefully, many of these caregivers has stolen and scammed the person they are taking care of.
A caller pretends to be a grandchild of the victim in need of some cash for some important reason, they convince the victim they are for real and the scammer convinces the victim not to tell their parents which gives them more time to get away with their scam. This works for the reason many seniors have memory disabilities, the scammer’s have figured this out and use it to take advantage of the victim
Sweepstakes & Lottery
This happens through the victims internet email or even by phone, they convince the person they have won a sweepstakes or lottery. The winner was chosen randomly through the computer, once they have the person convinced they hit them with they must send a check to receive their winnings.
Many scammers have gotten seniors personal information through email, pretending they are a business and need confirmation of the person’s personal information. No legitimate business will ever ask you for this information via email, good to warn people about this scam who are new to the internet.
Fake computer virus message appears on their computer screen they have been infected, than they offer a free scan and a program to rid the person of this virus. Of course there is not computer program, it is all a scam.
Many seniors have a big heart and donate to charities regularly, scammers figured this out and offer fake charities to donate to. Many seniors would donate to this great cause, there has even been Christian scams.
What To Do If Scammed
Many seniors are not aware of how or who to even report such an incident, of course contact your local police. If nothing else could prevent someone else to become a victim where you live, always contact your bank and credit card companies. You might need to close your accounts and open new ones, I have had to do this with my credit card recently. Someone some how charged on my credit card, it was even in another state. Other organizations you can contact are:
Adult Protective Servicess
What Is On My Mind Today
I am totally disgusted with how the scammers are taking over the internet and ruining many people’s lives, our seniors deserve more respect than they receive. Our government should be providing more assistance to the seniors on a fixed income, many are on more expensive diets because of health issues and struggling to manage. When seniors are taken advantage of most lose a great deal financially and emotionally, if these people who are stealing from our seniors would put all their effort into earning a honest living the world would be a much better place.