It is important to realize, senior scams or elderly scams are a common form of fraud, which our aging parents are likely to fall prey to. Another key point is, our parents work very hard to save money that would help them sail through their old age. Sadly, they are on target by fraudulent people who want to take away their hard-earned money from them. As responsible children, we worry about such scams. Statistics state elderly parents over the age of 65 are likely targeted by scammers.
Statics of scams
As a matter of fact, according to data published by the National Insitute of Justice Website in 2007. About 1 in 10 seniors reported having experienced some or the other form of mistreatment. Also, other data published way back in 2000 by the US Senate Special Committee on Aging. States that seniors lose close to $40 billion in telemarketing fraud.
Our parents – the victims of scams
All these only points towards the fact that senior scams is not a modern-day problem. But has been in existence for many years. With each passing year, the scenario has worsened. Furthermore, more and more seniors victimized by such scams.
Why the seniors are victims of such scams
The first thing to remember, it appears that senior citizens are the major victims of fraud and scams. As compared to the younger generation.
The reasons for this are many:
With age, the cognitive functioning of our parents takes a back seat.
They have good savings for retirement
Loneliness – this is one of the prime reasons for falling prey to scams. Lastly, because being lonely makes your parents vulnerable to be victims of con men.
Tips to protect your parents from scams
Fraudsters and scammers are often successful in fooling our aging parents. They apparently ended up giving their entire life saving to the hoaxer. Reports of scammers robbing aged individuals of their money are increasing. And it is our responsibility to protect our parents from falling prey to such heinous acts.
Help your parents with their finances. First of all, while most parents would prefer to manage their finances alone. Only a few chose to seek help from their children. However, adult children should voluntarily help their aging parents manage their finances. With an understanding that with age the cognitive faculties begin to slowly diminish. As a result, the parent might fall into any scandalous trap. Beware of their passwords and accounts. Also, keep aware of their monthly bills.
Educate. Education is the major key to prevent your parents from scammers. Tell your parents about the various scams that are using several ways to rob people of their money. Educate them about calls that want to gather information about their credit cards. Warn them about emails. That sends false claims about lottery and contests your parents never participated in.
Beware of new friends. In other words, if you suspect your parent is spending more time with a new-found friend. then get to know the details about this new friend as soon as possible. Find out more about the person to know their motives and intentions.
Poor decision-making. Often, our aging parents make the mistake of taking rash decisions. This is a habit that may often put them into trouble. Many scam calls involve such irresistible deals. That your parents may immediately say yes. Therefore, educate your parents about such scams and the so-called fake deals.
A sudden change in behavior. If you happen to notice a sudden change in the financial behavior of your parent. For this reason, then suspect something is definitely wrong with them. For example, if a parent who used to spend a lot, suddenly does not. It might indicate that they have recently lost a huge sum of money.
Tips to handle your parent who is being scammed
Falling trap to too good to be true schemes has become pretty normal for our aging parents. Safeguarding them from such scammers. The following steps can help too, address any type of concerns related to scams.
Contact financial institutions. In the case of any fraud, inform the bank authorities immediately and the accounts sealed. In the case of fraudulent activity on a credit card. And depending on the financial institution you are having an account with. The institution may reverse the charges.
File a complaint with the police. Another key point, once you inform the financial institution, then file a complaint with the police.
Ask for credit reports. Annualcreditreport.com is a trusted government site. You can order a free credit report to check your credit. With the rising incidence of frauds with seniors. you can request a free report of your parents to check against any kind of fraudulent activity.
Keep an eye on all accounts. It is your responsibility to keep an eye on insurance policies, annuities, and investments made by your parents. Check them for a change in ownership or a switch in beneficiaries. To put it differently, according to Reister, it is one of the various ways used by the scammers to defraud the seniors. By directly not taking money from our parents. These scammers can switch the beneficiaries. So that the money is legally transferred to their account. This type of activity is online fraud, which is one of the major ways of robbing our parents for their money.
Finally, one thing is that whenever seniors fall prey to such scams. It is important to realize, they face extreme humiliation and are also very ashamed of what all happened. As adult children, it becomes your moral duty to handle the situation. And clear up the mess by protecting their dignity and without hurting their feelings. All the above-mentioned tips and suggestions will certainly help. This will help you handle senior scams in a much better way. For more information, check out this site.
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