The statistics reveal that those over the age of 60 are more likely to be a victim of fraud. Given there will always be scammers and swindlers in the world, it is a good idea to have seniors be aware of what possible frauds might be perpetrated against them. Knowing these scams is a great way to ensure that you stay ahead of the scammers.
Scam #1 – Funeral Scams
This is arguably one of the worst scams that we have seen before, especially because someone might be in a vulnerable state of mind, they are targeted by scammers. The fraudster will call and suggest that they are still owed money by the deceased. Even though it sounds hard to imagine someone being heartless enough to take advantage while we grieve the loss of a loved one, unfortunately it is far too common.
Scam #2 – Internet Fraud
Internet fraud can occur in many different ways. It might be a fraudulent company asking the senior to update/verify information or someone posing as a legitimate institution. Alternatively, you might be warned of a possible virus (that is non-existent) on your computer and then tell you that you have to follow a number of different steps. Another large issue is the romantic interest (also called the catfish scam) fraud. Soon after starting a virtual relationship, there are requests for money or gifts. Especially those who are already lonely are vulnerable to this scam.
Scam #3 – Miracle Cure Scams
With so many different advancements in medicine, sometimes it might be difficult to determine what treatment options are legitimate and which are not. If someone is sick or ailing, chances are that they would be willing to try just about anything to feel better. When it comes to the treatment of a number of different ailments – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Always check with your doctor before you purchase health treatments, medicines, or vitamins.
Scam #4 – Medicare/Health Insurance Fraud
Someone posing as a healthcare representative with the sole goal to defraud seniors of their money, it sounds almost laughable if it was not such a serious issue. After billing the provider (by getting the senior’s Medicare or other health insurance information), the fraudster suddenly disappears. Ensure that you are talking to your actual provider before you share information with a care provider.
Telemarketing/ Phone Scams
According to information from the National Consumer Law Center, older Americans lose approximately 40 BILLION dollars each year because of phone scams. A few of the different scams include lottery winnings, sweepstakes, and charities. Nowadays it is easier for scammers to find information online, and subsequently use that information to make a call appear more genuine.
Even though seniors are often vulnerable to scams, anyone can fall victims to these swindlers. It is nothing to be embarrassed about if you are the victim of a scam. Make sure that you stop those criminals by reporting your experiences to the authorities.