American seniors are at risk. Scammers are targeting them ruthlessly, and their money is being siphoned off, which is leaving many seniors in a state of panic and despair. Why are our senior citizens in the sights of bad people that want to take advantage of them? The Federal Bureau of Investigation says that older folks are easier targets and are more likely to have readily-available funds due to life savings or nest eggs that are set aside. According to the FBI, this makes them a more attractive target to fraudsters.
The problem seems to be exacerbated by the fact that many folks do not report being scammed as they are worried that their family will decide that they no longer are able to handle their own financial affairs. Even worse is that some seniors do not realize that they were scammed in the first place.
Here are some things to look out for so you can be sure that you are not being defrauded:
If you receive a call from a number you do not know and have someone on the end of the line who is pestering you to do any of the following:
- If they want you to take some kind of immediate action, alarm bells should ring. They will say you have to do something right now, or there will be consequences. They may say they are from a bank or credit institution or even a government agency. Make sure they are who they say
- Never ever provide your credit card number, bank account information, or other personal information to a caller.
- Do not send any money to any person who is calling especially if they tell you to wire money or pay with a prepaid debit card.
A good point to remember is that scammers are getting more and more technology savvy. Online transactions are also dangerous as some international banks do not have a name on an account but rather just numbers, and this means you have no way of knowing if emails have been intercepted and a new account number sent to you to deposit funds into. Banks may refuse to compensate you for the error.
It does not matter whether a senior is rolling in cash or struggling to make ends meet. The fact that nasty people are preying on the elderly, while they pray that their golden years are all they hoped they would be, is a sad state of affairs. Making sure our seniors are wiser than the fraudsters is the only way to be certain they can stay one step ahead of these criminals.
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