Why Senior Citizens Need to Protect Themselves from Scams
It’s no secret that scams, fraud, and data security breaches are increasing. Many of these threats affect senior citizens and can pose significant problems to their finances. Let’s discuss how you can be targeted and what to do to protect yourself.
Why Are Senior Citizens a Common Target for Fraud?
Criminals know very well that most senior citizens have savings as this is the case more often than not. It’s also a known fact that most seniors have good or excellent credit, which also makes them a common target.
Another fact that thieves particularly prey on is that older generations were brought up to be polite and respectful. This fact is used against seniors as the criminals know that those they go after will be more trusting and less likely to ignore or hang up on them.
Telemarketing fraud is also on the rise, which is where con artists will try to get you to send money or give personal and/or financial information over the phone. You can visit a few sites put together by the F.B.I. that show additional reasons why seniors are common targets and a list of telemarketing phrases you should be aware of.
How to Protect Your Finances from Fraud
While it’s important to know why you are more likely to be a victim of fraud, it’s also a good idea to know how you can protect yourself and your finances. A few tips include:
- Never send money to someone you don’t know
- Don’t provide personal or financial information over email or to someone who calls you on the phone
- Always verify who you are speaking with and the organization they represent
- Never buy from a company you don’t know
- Be wary of any written information you receive from unfamiliar companies and check with your local Better Business Bureau whenever possible
If you’d like more information on fraud targeting senior citizens or you think you might be a victim of fraud, you can find out how to get help by contacting the Aging Fraud Hotline.