Rob felt something was ‘off’ with his 68 years old father. When they talked, he would tell him how he met a woman online and occasionally sent money to. Although he never met the woman, she had already confessed her love for Rob’s father through emails and she sometimes asked for money in order to feed herself and her daughter. However, Rob told his father that he is being conned, be he never listened and continued to send the money. One day, Rob’s father suffered a massive heart attack, which gave Rob the Power of Attorney.
Only after getting the Power of Attorney, Rob understood the extent of the scam. He found multiple receipts from wire transfer and emails from the lady asking for money. A little digging and he found that his father had already transferred as much as $500,000 during a time frame of two years. Yes! It was his life’s savings.
Unfortunately, he is not alone; there are thousands around the world, who are aged 65 and above are particularly at risk of losing money due to financial scams. Those who are above 65 have much more chances of getting duped online than someone into their 40’s. So, just to understand why these elderly people are much more vulnerable to financial scams, it is very much important to know why they are the targets?
Unfortunately, elderly individuals are becoming the most frequent targets of any financial scams. Fraudsters often target this section of the population mostly because they are lonely, they are eager to listen and they trust easily than any younger individual. The financial frauds against the elderly population are often performed over the telephone, social networking sites, or by any other means of advertisements. These fraudsters often use different tactics to lure their prey. They can be friendly, or sympathetic or willing to help even in some cases they use the fear factor.
Tactics used by these fraudsters ultimately depends on the situation that he is in. During some situations, they might focus on home ownership rather than financial scams, so he will recommend someone, who can repair at a reasonable cost. However, this repair guy might eventually ask the prey to sign a document only after completing the housework. In a few cases, the victim learns that he has already signed the title of his house to the repairman. In some of the cases, these repairmen just overcharge and in return, they don’t even perform the work properly.
So, below we are sharing a few types of financial scams that are often targeted towards the elderly people;
- Anti-aging products: With so much peer pressure from society, physical appearance often takes the center stage. Nowadays many individuals feel the need of finding treatments that conceal their age. These financial scammers often advertise bogus products as the perfect anti-aging solution. Some of the products are even harmful, but still, they are being touted as effective. Financial scams involving these anti-aging products often lead to a loss of a few thousand dollars.
- Internet: Many seniors are not as tech-savvy when it comes to handling internet or social networking sites. So, there are many times when they get tricked into downloading some fake-anti virus software or any bogus software, which in return tracks and accesses their personal information. Seniors also respond to the phishing emails where they are prompted to update their bank details by visiting a bogus website. Eventually, all these lead to financial scams, that can wipe out the entire bank balance.
- Fake Drugs: As the price of prescription drugs increases, senior citizens often look for cheap drugs on the internet. Unfortunately, scammers know about this and they set up bogus advertisements of fake counterfeit drugs. Seniors who don’t know about these counterfeit drugs and purchase them, soon realize that they have been duped and the drugs they have bought are not giving them any kind of relief from their health problems.
- Lotteries: Financial scams involving lotteries is a very old method of scamming. In this scheme, fraudsters often contact their prey over email or telephone by saying they have won a big amount of money/prize. However, to claim the prize one needs to pay a small fee. Now, who doesn’t love to win a prize? So, the unsuspecting victim often transfers money to the scammer’s account through wire transfers, and soon after sending the money, the victim realizes that it was a trap.
So, here are a few ways, through which you can be tricked into financial scams and you can even lose your entire life’s savings. Just be careful while interacting with someone, whom you barely know and always keep one thing in mind, your bank will never ask for any of your card details.
Also, before buying any drug online, make sure the website is genuine, as counterfeit drugs will not only harm your pocket, it also may affect your health too. And before investing, just make sure you are not investing in any Ponzi or Pyramid Schemes.