According to the Senate Special Committee on Aging, scammers cheat seniors out of approximately $2.9 billion annually. And no one is safe. Many con artists prey upon seniors who have above-average incomes and are well-educated. They use compelling stories and sales pitches, making it easy for anyone to be targeted.
Being scammed can make anyone depressed, but being the victim of a scam can be particularly detrimental to a senior’s mental health. They feel helpless, embarrassed, fearful, anxious, or distrusting of others
As is often said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Here are five scams that every senior should know about to help protect them when the wolf comes knocking at the door.
1. Tech Support
Many scammers make a living out of offering technical support, which turns out to be fake. They direct their efforts towards those needing technical help or password recovery assistance. They often tell seniors that their computer is infected with a dangerous virus and that purchasing a service plan will allow the scammer to clean up their computer. Of course, what they really want is the senior’s credit card information.
2. Money Transfer Fraud
One scam that’s been around for years and costs seniors tens of millions of dollars each year is built around the scammer contacting the senior to tell them they’ve won a lottery or cash prize and need to send the scammer money to cover taxes and processing fees.
3. Anti-Aging /Health Claims
Unsuspecting seniors can end up spending thousands of dollars on expensive anti-aging treatments, only to find out they need additional treatments to achieve the promised results. Many anti-aging products are only placebos, and some even contain harmful chemicals, such as formaldehyde.
4. Real Estate Scams
Seniors can be highly susceptible to scams involving real estate since they’ve owned real estate in the past. Scammers claim they have fantastic real estate investment deals in places like Central America that include luxury amenities, like golf courses. They claim that lots are selling fast and that the senior should buy now because the property’s value will be quickly increasing.
5. Business Opportunity Schemes
Ads telling seniors they should be their own boss and enjoy their golden years are a couple of claims scammers make in business opportunity ads. They sell their victims thousands of dollars of worthless programs, and the money will never be refunded. The senior will also end up with loans or credit card debt to cover the cost of these scams.
Seniors should be reminded to never share their personal or financial information over the phone and not buy anything from solicitors who have called them. Getting on the “Do Not Call” list is also a good idea.
Let Us Help!
AmeriCare Plus can be a companion to your senior loved one and help them avoid being taken advantage of by phone solicitors. We’ve been providing exceptional home care for seniors since 1968 and are based in Virginia. We’re family-owned, and we treat our clients like family members. Contact us today for an in-home visit by calling (844) 407-CARE (2273).
We also have job opportunities available for caregivers. Call us for details.