By Jennifer Bradley, Staff Writer
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
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
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
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
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.
The National Council on Aging (NCOA)
identifies the nation’s top 10 popular scams.