Elderly Scams: Don't Be A Victim!

Elderly scams can cost you your identity, home, savings, and everything you have worked all your life for.

Elderly scams  can cause couple to lose everything they own.

Become aware and knowledgeable.

Don’t allow yourself, or your loved ones to become a victim of this particularly cruel crime of identity theft.

To learn about more scams, go to identity theft scams for information to be aware of.

Did you know the brain changes in the aging process and these changes can help a scammer make you a victim of identity theft?

One-eighth of the U.S. population is over the age of 65 and 1/3 of those people have become a victim of scams.

Some explanations for the aging process affecting the elderly can be summed up as memory loss, loneliness, vulnerability and a nature that is more trusting.

The elderly that do not fit into those categories, can be explained by the natural aging process, causing shifts that are very subtle in the mind-set and mind and open the door for scammers in many unexpected ways.

Fraud of the Elderly – Memory Loss

According to facilities that treat people with memory disorders, our brains begin to shrink in our 30’s. The pace of processing information slows down and becomes much more noticeable in the 60’s.

  • Reasoning ability, decision making, judgment skills may all change in people with early memory loss, even before it becomes clear that there is a problem.

In many cases of scams that include fake lotteries, telemarketing and phone scams the elderly are prompted into action because of the scammer's “act now” urgency.

Scams on the elderly prey on the fact that it takes the elderly person longer to process everything and, many times, the demand for them to speed up their decision making is one of the main reasons for them falling victim to these scams.

  • Research shows that changes are frequently caulked up to memory loss because the person is over 65.

For example, false statements such as, “We agreed on this price”, or “You forgot to pay me!” can be believed if repeated often enough.

Writing everything down, and the ability to retain and understand details such as, terms of a contract, can wane around 2pm daily. Scammers often call late in the day for this reason.

Fraud of the Elderly – Loneliness

As the elderly get older, many times loneliness may set in. Many elders have lost a spouse, are alone, or start to feel socially isolated.

Many had social status and start to feel undervalued if this status changes.

This feeling of undervalue can greatly raise the risk of elderly scams making them a victim.

The feeling of being unappreciated can occur even if the elderly have many co-workers, friends and family are around.

Have you ever had someone tell you that they feel alone, even in a crowd?

  • All it takes is careless remark from a store clerk that is rude, or worries that the person feels are private.
  • When a person starts to feel unappreciated or lonely, it’s a perfect scenario for a scammer to step into and provide emotional support that is fake, but they know is the trick that is needed to scam money from them.

Besides all my years of working high profile jobs in the business world, I have had the privilege of taking care of many seniors that have had this feeling of loneliness and being unappreciated.

All that was needed was to bring some joy and laughter into their lives.

I find as I get older, I have become a lot more skeptical of what is really behind what a person’s mouth says.

What they say and do can be two different things, especially today when there is so much identity theft and scams threatening everything we own and our identity.

Many seniors have learned through living life that looks can be deceiving, and are actually much better at detecting lies than a person that is young and hasn’t lived as much life.

  • Other elderly scams focus on people that are patriotic. This can lead a scammer to prey on the elderly and pretend they are from a veterans group, or some other government agency.
  • Being religious can also make a person vulnerable to scammers that concentrate on using good causes and charities that are fake to scam money from them.

The ability to spot warning signs of danger can also be dulled by age, which the younger generation may see as something that’s obvious.

  • Many elderly scams now involve scammers that make contact with a person face-to-face.

These scams include, but are not limited to, auto-repairs, repairs to your home where the scammer will pose as a utility worker etc.

  • All these tricks are for the sole purpose of gaining entrance to the victim’s home or business.
  • Many times these scams are done by “teams” of two people. One scammer keeps the home or business owner distracted, as the second scammer takes inventory of your valuables.

Fraud of the Elderly – More Scams To Be Aware Of!

  • Other elderly scams to be aware of include lottery scams, telemarketing scams, mail scams, and phone scams. Many phone scams require you to wire money. These are scams! Don't Do It!

Years ago, I took care of an elderly gentleman. When I wasn’t there, he would become bored, lonely and would buy things from any telemarketer that called.

At one point he jeopardized his home, which had been fully paid for, his credit, and before his daughter realized what was going on, found out her dad owed $30,000.

The sad fact of this elderly scam was being forced to mortgage the house to pay off these debts.

Another very big consideration for the elderly person to be educated and aware of is social security fraud and medicare fraud.

This has grown to tremendous proportions in the last few years.

If you have an older senior in the family, please be aware of the dangers of elderly scams that can take your loved one's identity and ruin their credit and life.

Return from Elderly Scams to Identity Theft Home Page