seniorsWhy are seniors targeted by fraud scams?  Because there are a lot of them, and many seniors have money and are trusting, making them easy targets for fraudsters. If these schemes did not result in profits, no one would use them.

A few months ago I received a call from a friend who reported that his elderly mother had fallen victim to a scheme pitched by a fraud artist.  He related how a significant amount of his mother’s savings was taken by an unscrupulous telemarketer.  What kind of a person would target the elderly, he asked?

Those of us in the industry of caring, protecting, and defending need to know why seniors are targeted and be able to recognize the warning signs are that a senior may be a victim.  After all, our senior citizens are vulnerable and one bad decision can seriously jeopardize their financial well-being and subsequently their physical health as well.  If you care for a senior, this newsletter article is meant for you.

Why are senior citizens targeted by fraud scams?

Seniors are targeted for a number of reasons.  First, many older Americans are relatively affluent.  They are near the end of their lives, having worked hard and saved a significant amount of money.  They have paid off their homes, invested successfully, and possibly received the proceeds of a life insurance policy.  This nest egg is what draws the attention of the con man.  In short, they have money.

Our seniors generally have been raised to be polite and trusting.  Compound these traits with a dash of loneliness, and you have the perfect conditions for a con to exploit.   Also, our older citizens are less likely to report a fraud because they do not know who to report it to; but more importantly, they are ashamed and do not want others to know they have been talked out of their money.  They are very concerned that this could result in the loss of their independence, as they fear their mental capacities will be scrutinized and control of their financial affairs will be removed from them.

Moreover, oftentimes when elderly persons report a loss or allege being a victim of a crime, their memory is questioned and challenged.  Those around the elderly are quick to blame diminished mental capacity as what really happened.  Ironically, when it comes to medical frauds involving medications that promise to increase cognitive ability, virility, physical conditioning, anti-cancer, etc, it is our senior citizens who are most concerned with these issues.

Don’t Let Your Seniors Be Fooled!

The telephone is one of the most popular weapons of choice.   The elderly have and dutifully answer their telephone.  This provides telemarketers an easy entrance to the home, and detection and prosecution is difficult.  Be advised that scammers may work for days or weeks setting up a victim for phone frauds by pretending to be someone they are not and offering promises they will not fulfill.

Over the next few months we will describe some of the fraud schemes that target seniors so you can become familiar with them and identify them by the warning signs we provide. 

If you suspect fraud, contact Cadfael at (763) 694-6086 at once for help protecting your senior.   

--Cadfael.