Scams targeting the elderly have become so widespread that are now known as “the crime of the 21st century.” While the crimes are considered “low risk” and are difficult to report and to persecute, they are leaving many senior citizens in a devastating position both emotionally and financially.
This type of scams seems to be especially disturbing. Why? Mainly because of the reason and tactic that they work so well. Scams targeting the elderly manipulate the victim emotionally. Senior people are trusting and naive, thereby making it easier to play off any scam scenario. Technology isn’t the same to them as to millennials and their income is not grand. You can see how vulnerable all of that makes them.
Here are some of the most common scams targeting the elderly.
Scammers would find every way to fool senior citizens when it comes to health care. Simply because they are the most susceptible to health problems. Anything from extra billing to someone pretending to be a Medicare agent is possible. Medicare is automatic once a citizen reaches the age of 65. So, to get their hands dirty, scammers won’t need to find out how and in which private insurance company the elderly are registered.
Scammers can contact elderly by phone pretending to be from Medicare and to make them give out personal information. Refuse to do so and directly contact your healthcare provider or the Medicare office.
You probably guess why this one is also easy to pull off. Elderly people mostly stay home alone and if the phone rings chances are high they will answer it. Once they answer it scammers can offer everything that will cross their minds. Anything from free trials to account assistance, and fake charities. In fact, this type of scam often goes unreported. Because elderly feel guilty for being unwary and also are afraid that someone would doubt their mental capacities.
Elderly people can afford not to be so sparing from time to time. And that’s exactly why lottery or sweepstakes scams work. The classical scenario goes like this. Scammers tell the victim that they have won a lottery and have to make some kind of payment to unlock and receive the prize. Seniors might be sent a check which they can deposit in their bank account. The money will show up but it not it won’t be until some days to detect the check. Meanwhile, scammers would get the money they want and then remove the promised money while before the check is rejected.
Here scammers would pretend to be representatives of some or another kind of utility company, such as gas, phone or power companies. Elderly people are more likely to panic if someone tells them that their heat or water is about to be cut off. So, when put in such circumstances they are very likely to pay up. The way out is the same as in any other similar case. You should hang up and instead contact the utility company directly via a verified number. You’ll be relieved to resolve the matter that way. But also you’ll do good by letting the utility company know about their area.
It would be surprising that the culture which actively promotes the young and beautiful wouldn’t affect the elderly. Concealing their age becomes a priority for many elderly individuals, especially women. Many aging Americans are in search of different methods that would help them look younger. Some would try everything from treatment and medication to cosmetics. The bigger the number of people and their wish the more successful the anti-aging industry is. Botox scams are known to be the most dangerous. Those include botulism neurotoxin, which according to science is among the most dangerous substances. It’s health consequences can be outrageous.
While scammers will always find a new way to advance their illegal craft, it is worth knowing their most common scenarios. Being a little more careful never hurts. What could be better than to know how to protect yourself and your loved ones?