It’s no secret that senior citizens are commonly victimized by fraud. When we talk about preventing senior abuse, this falls under that category as well. However, Concierge Care Advisors are not the only ones to recognize elderly fraud schemes as a growing problem. In fact, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) also understand the growing problem and have provided tips and recommendations for how you can prevent fraud happening to your loved one.
Why are Seniors Targets of Fraud?
Many people wonder, “Why seniors?” because it’s not simply those that have memory loss problems that are being scammed by con artists. No, the reason con artists choose seniors goes beyond that.
- It was a different time
If you’re the adult child of a senior reading this, then you’ve probably heard the clichéd parent line of, “When I was your age…” or “Back in my day…” but in this case, their “day” actually has some weight.
People who grew up in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s are – generally – more trusting of people. That’s not to say it was “a simpler time,” since you don’t have to be a historian to note the global wars going on around those decades, but in regards to technology and social skills, it was very different from today. Con artists are aware of this and try to take advantage.
- Fear of how you’ll react
This one is particularly important because it goes beyond fraud and tells of a far more pertinent interpersonal relationship. Some seniors don’t report fraud because they fear what you’ll think.
We know which seniors need to be in a senior housing community and the fact is, some don’t. But your elder is going to be worried what you think if they are taken advantage of. It goes beyond them feeling ashamed of being scammed and makes them worry that you’ll find them not “capable” of living on their own.
Seniors aren’t the only ones who under-report scams, we all do. To put it bluntly, we feel stupid for having been duped. It’s a natural feeling, but with seniors there’s more at stake.
- Seniors are more willing to buy
Again, con artists – “good” ones anyway – do not sell products like infomercials. Most are clever and subtle. When these con artists sell products that “improve mental agility,” “physical health,” “prevent cancer,” or even “virility” seniors are more likely to buy.
First of all, in this day and age, these products don’t sound extreme. Every day there are new products going on to shelves and others – that fail the FDA regulation – that are coming down.
In addition, many Eastern, holistic medicines have been proven to improve health more so than any prescription drug.
Lastly, a lot of people assume this is a reckless senior move. Wrong again. Imagine, your lifestyle if you had no more car payments, no more house payments, and were surviving on a higher than average income – since con artists don’t have a tendency to target those with low-income. Imagine too that you don’t need to save for your kids’ college tuition because, guess what, they’ve graduated and are making a living on their own. In short, if someone offered you a product that would increase your life’s longevity, you would say, “Why not?”
Stick around for tomorrow’s blog, when we tell you how seniors (and families) can avoid fraud.