Find out how these fraud prevention tips can help protect you
Senior fraud is very common, tragically and according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 25 million Americans were victims of fraud over the past year and people 60+ were one of the key targets for scammers seeking to defraud innocent persons.
One of the reasons why the FTC says that fraud is the most prevalent is because seniors were brought up during a different era of business, one that imbued trust on a simple verbal agreement or handshake. A survey conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) purported that seniors are more apt to believe friendly, random callers and people who stop by. Furthermore, seniors account for more than half of all assets owned in the U.S. at present, making them ample targets for senior fraud. Use the simple tips offered here to easily avoid fraud at every left turn.
Different types of online fraud targeting senior citizens
One of the more common and recent types of senior fraud, this fraud involves two aspects: phishing (trying to get password and login information from personal accounts online) and money wire scams (trying to get a person to send money or accept a fraudulent wire transfer).
How to avoid: Never open a website from an email address, even if it looks real. Instead, type in the address yourself from your web browser and log in; this will ensure your account remains intact. Never respond to offers to send you money, a job, or gift that’s too good to be true.
Telemarketing is another popular form of senior fraud. This can involve phone calls offering all sorts of services and deals, often stressed by the urgency of them. Millions of seniors fall prey to these scams each day.
How to avoid: don’t buy anything from anyone over the phone, ever. Never give your financial information out over the phone, unless you called the company yourself (like your mortgage provider or utility company).
Some scammers still try to dupe seniors with door-to-door sales. Generally selling them things they will never use, like a $2,000 vacuum cleaner, 20 magazine subscriptions, or bogus charity scams.
How to avoid: Never buy anything from anyone who is going door-to-door and never give out your financial information.
Beware of fraud in the investment sector as well. This can range from stocks and bonds from people you do not know or trust all the way to real estate fraud, foreign investment scams, and others.
How to avoid: A good rule of thumb can be reiterated here: if an offer is made with an unbelievable return for a nominal investment, it’s a scam. If you think the offer or deal sounds too good to be true, the FBI fervently imposes that you assume it is: too good to be true.