… And it’s going to get worse!
Boomer children, be warned. While the poor economy is definitely a huge culprit when it comes to senior scams, we also need to face the fact that many people out there are indescribably unscrupulous, earning money to hurt the ones you love. I’ve often wondered how these people sleep at night and live with themselves, but I have come to realize these scam artists don’t seem to have much of a conscience.
Since I have had several blog followers ask me to write about the scams that have robbed their loved ones in many different ways, I want to shed light on what our seniors are going through, that often as children we don’t see … or don’t want to see. The phone rings and it’s a friendly voice the elderly person is attracted to. Our elderly relative might be lonely or soft-hearted and give information they shouldn’t give to the stranger. Sadly, they are of a generation that may not fully recognize the impact of the world wide web and its power. The stroke of a finger on a keyboard could mean financial devastation to them, and their personal information is spread around the world in an instant, never to be retrieved.
The telemarketers prey on them, promising a lottery, other forms of a windfall, and free stuff. There is no “free.” It all comes at a price. We must also take into consideration that many of our relatives suffer from dementia, and the effects it has on their logic and reasoning. In some cases, they don’t know any better, or they are just sweet-natured and gullible. Some even buy things from TV home shopping channels just to have social interaction with the customer service rep on the phone and the UPS man when he drops off their purchases.
These are some of the things I see, but the National Council on Aging has this to say about senior scams:
- All seniors are targeted, both low income as well as high income, because it is perceived they have plenty of money saved.
- Over 90% of all reported elder abuse is committed by an older person’s own family members, most often their adult children, followed by grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and others. (Wow, this is really sad!)
Their top 10 list of senior scams:
For more details on each, go to: Top 10 Senior Scams
- Health Care / Medicare / Health Insurance Fraud
- Counterfeit Prescription Drugs
- Funeral & Cemetery scams
- Fraudulent Anti-Aging Products
- Internet Fraud
- Investment Schemes
- Homeowner / Reverse Mortgage scams
- Sweepstakes and Lottery scams
- The Grandparent scam
Also, consider contacting your local Better Business Bureau for senior scams in your area, and how they can be avoided. Make sure to place your elderly loved one’s phone number on the National “Do Not Call” Registry. Registry
While scammers still do call, it is done less frequently. Remind them your number is on the “Do Not Call” list.
Please do your research, and do everything in your power to protect your loved one!
© 2012 Julie Hall