Home Care: Well-Known Senior Scams
If you are 60 years of age or above, it has been revealed by statistics that you are vulnerable to get defrauded. Most fraudsters normally go after both young and elderly people through different means like magazines, phone, door to door solicitation, TV and internet. These con artists know how to lure them and obtain information needed to just rob people of their cash. By finding out what to listen to and what to look for, we can take measures to reduce the number of elderly people that fall victim of these experienced con artists.
What is the reason Senior Citizens are targets?
Elderly people are specifically targeted more than any other set of people for various reasons. One factor is that such individuals might have saved a lot all through the years. The money saved might be for different purposes like travel, retirement or other contingents. Some senior citizens might fall victim due to their fragile state of mind caused either by the loss of their spouse, depression or even loneliness. Some others fall prey to the so-called products advertised by these scammers claiming to have cures and treatments for ailments or diseases that are peculiar people of their age group. Some even take advantage of the fact that these elders where brought up in a time where people were more trustworthy and polite to each other.
Scammers will always be in the world and we need to keep informing each other so that we will dont fall into their hands. Nobody is really exempted in the case of getting scammed but we know we should be careful when dishing out our personal information, so we can reduce the number of victims. Most of these fraudsters are very experienced, if you have fallen into their hands, do not beat yourself over it but make sure it is reported.
Listed below are 5 popular ways elders are scammed and need to know about:
Telemarketing and various other phone frauds: It has been estimated by the National Consumer Law that Americans have lost $40 billion annually just to phone scams. They include: sweepstakes, fake charities, “grandparent scam”, and lottery winnings. Scammers of today are smarter than before in getting information from the internet about your relatives’ names and their private information. They can pose as a relative or grandchild after getting vital information and claim they are in dire need of money. Most of the times, they claim to be in a different country and in need of help or probably involved in a kind of accident. Their conversation always starts with “Hi Grandma!” and go on to talk about their current situation. Such stories are not just the ones we have heard but even those close to us have had such experience and it is rather unfortunate that it is transforming into a popular technique.
Health/Medicare Insurance Fraud: The scammers, in these kinds of activities, pretend to be healthcare workers and have just one goal – getting details of your Healthcare Insurance or personal Medicare information. After this, they start billing the provider of his money and later disappear with it. In order to avoid this, give your information to only the care provider you speak with whenever you call your insurance company to be assured that you are discussing with the real provider.
Miracle Cure Frauds: In the present day, there have been a lot of advancements in the science of medicine and it might not be easy to differentiate between genuine treatments from the false ones created by a scam artist. It is logical that people who are either in pain or sick would be willing to pay anything just to enjoy a comfortable, fruitful and longer life. A lot of drugs that have not been tested and are claimed to be a “cure” to many ailments and other health challenges are found not only online but are also advertised on newspapers, magazines, radio and even on TV. Actors are usually paid to pretend to be doctors so as to make their claims sound authentic. Make sure you consult your doctor before buying any health treatments, vitamins and other medicines.
Internet Scams: This can be disguised in many ways with targets receiving emails from an institution or genuine company asking you to verify or update your information or even tell you to claim a refund of tax. Also, pop-up windows appear on your computer screen claiming your computer has a virus (which you might not have) and tells you to download an anti-virus software. The moment this is downloaded, the victim is either charged a certain amount of money or the program, which is a virus itself, gets all the information used to scam the victim in various ways. Another way they operate is the sweet heart catfish scam where the fraudster befriends the victim by giving them love and attention also posing as a friend or lover. Later, pictures are exchanged between both parties and the scammers come up with different stories. It is peculiar with those who are looking for love and might end up believing the relationship is authentic.
Funeral scams: This is one of the most pathetic scams of them all where elderly widows are the targets, especially when they are in a fragile state of mind. The scammers pretend to be people the deceased partner owed money when still alive. Also, where people like funeral directors and funeral homes are compassionate, these scammers may use them to scam you. It is difficult to believe that someone would use another person’s grief to defraud them but the sad truth is that it really happens.
Despite the fact the senior citizens have been the targets of scammers, it could possibly happen to anybody. If you have been scammed or if it happened to someone close to you, there is nothing to feel embarrassed about. You are not the only person who has experienced it and therefore, you should report to the appropriate authorities to clamp down on these bad eggs.