Just the other day I heard on the news that there was a senior who was scammed out of their entire lifesaving. She was manipulated after joining a dating site for seniors. The sad truth of the matter is that senior scams are becoming more and more common every year. Senior scams are on the rise because people realize that many seniors have access to money, and seniors tend to be easier to scam than other people. One of the key reasons that seniors fall victim to scams is that many seniors experience loneliness and isolation. Many seniors are looking to fill a void. It may be the recent death of their spouse or any empty nest. The problem is that scammers take advantage of this factor when creating senior scams.
The National Council on Aging has an article devoted to describing some of the biggest senior scams to look out for. The rise of technology has created more ways that seniors can be scammed. Scammers understand that many seniors are not technologically savvy and they are vulnerable online. According to an article by NOLO (a respected legal site) there are around 5 million cases of reported financial abuse to seniors every year. This is a terrifying statistic as we should have an obligation to promote the seniors of the world. Senior scams have become a huge problem but there are a few things that we can do to protect our senior loved ones. Here they are:
Talk to Your Loved One About Senior Scams
I know that this tip may seem a bit obvious but you would be surprised how many adult children have not had this conversation with their senior parents. The truth of the matter is that awareness is one of the key forms of protection against falling victim to a senior scam. Aging care has some great tips on how to successfully have a conversation around senior fraud with your loved one. The conversation around senior scams should also describes the types of ways that scammers could be targeting your loved one in the future. Give your loved one some warning signs to look out for.
Ask If You Can Help Manage Their Finances
There is nothing worse than being too late to putting a process of avoiding senior scams in place with your loved one. Talk to your senior loved one about helping them manage their finances. This involvement will allow you to monitor suspicious activity taking place in your senior’s accounts or with their assets. Some senior loved ones may be hesitant to allow you to be involved in this aspect of their life so it is key to reassure them that you want to help to protect them.
Speak to Your Senior Loved One on a Regular Basis
One of the easiest ways to help to protect your senior loved one is to check in with them regularly. All it takes is a phone call or quick visit to understand what is going on in your loved ones life. Take this time to ask them if they have received any calls or mail that seemed out of the ordinary. Most seniors will open up and discuss anything that surprised them or seemed out of place since your last call or visit.
It is sad that scammers are taking advantage of seniors however as discussed in this blog post there are things we can do to protect them. Do you have any advice on other ways that we can protect seniors from senior scams? Comment below with your thoughts and advice.