How To Recognize The Signs Of Fraud Against Seniors

Scammers usually prey on senior citizens because they see them as easy targets. Seniors rarely report financial scams and these frauds can be difficult to prosecute, which is why scammers consider these frauds low-risk crimes. Sometimes seniors are embarrassed to admit they have been the victim of a scam, which means that they may even keep it a secret from family members.

As many frauds are committed online, you can protect your loved one by explaining to them what behaviors are risky and should be avoided. You can help them with online purchases and Internet searches. Assisting your loved one with paying bills, shopping, and sorting mail can lessen the risk of frauds. It is also important to inform your loved one about the most common scams, so they can recognize potentially dangerous situations.  

The most popular scams targeting seniors, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), are Medicare and health care fraud, reverse mortgage scams, counterfeit prescription drugs, investment schemes, telemarketing, Internet fraud, sweepstakes and lottery scams, funeral and cemetery scams, and fraudulent anti-aging products.

The anti-aging business is on the rise and many older people seek new treatments or medications in order to look as youthful as possible. Many websites offer free trials of a product, only to charge for the product or delivery even if the customer had no intention of ordering the product. Seniors are also often coerced into giving their credit card or checking account information for this free trial.

You should also warn your loved one about the dangers of giving out their personal and banking information, credit card numbers or social security numbers. It is advisable to keep all important documents and legal papers in a safe place as well. In case your loved one has been victimized, it is important to encourage them to report this crime and show them how to avoid similar situations in the future. 

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