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Senior Fraud

By Jennifer Bradley, Staff Writer

(Page 1 of 3)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation says that seniors are attractive to con artists, based on their trusting instincts and also retirement nest eggs saved for many decades for their golden years. The number one cause for senior fraud is financial. Billions of dollars are lost every year to this type of crime.

The people looking to commit financial fraud are smart and know just how to manipulate a senior into giving them what they want, knowing the likelihood of it being reported is small.

Caregivers can help their loved ones by having an awareness of finances, watching for unusual withdrawals and talking to them about what is happening with today’s crime trends.

WATCHFUL EYES AND EARS

The most effective way to prevent financial fraud of a loved one is having open eyes and ears. It’s easy for a loved one still managing their own finances to feel confused and overwhelmed, especially if they are being badgered by people looking to take advantage.
 
A caregiver can keep up on the latest scams and inform their loved one what to be on the lookout for and what solicitations to question.
 
Scammers are out to make money—period. They rarely act out in violent behaviors toward their victims and if that target won’t be a profit for them, they move on. 
 
The Baby Boomer generation was raised to be polite and respectful. They are less likely to report a fraud and, many times, don’t realize they have been scammed. They may not want to report it in fear of their caregiver thinking they are unable to make decisions independently.
A caregiver should understand their loved one’s frame of mind, and recognize any potential to be swayed. Many times, seniors are looking to increase brain and body function, lessen the chance of disease and increase youthful features. These are all weak spots a con artist will prey upon.
 
The FBI recommends a senior never sign blank forms or give blanket authorization to providers, always ask what is being charged and check prescription packaging if it seems suspicious, and be aware that special deals truly may mean something else.
 
A caregiver can help a loved one act as an informed consumer, educating them about the dangers of responding to unsolicited advertising or buying from an unfamiliar company, especially online.  

TOP TEN

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) identifies the nation’s top 10 popular scams.

 

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