There are many scammers nowadays, and they now have a new target; the elders. A report submitted by the FBI has confirmed that the elderly have lost more than $ 1 billion to scams in 2020. Then numbers are shocking as more than 100,000 over 65 years lose an average of $ 9175 annually.
It is important to know about financial scams so that you may protect yourself and the people surrounding you. There are different ways through which scammers can use, but one of the most famous and fruitful ways nowadays is the digital pathway. This article will teach you what to look for, how to protect seniors, and what to do in case of a scam.
Scams aimed against senior citizens are common and costly. Fraudsters are estimated to cost seniors more than $3 billion each year, according to the FBI. Scammers target the elderly because they assume they have a large sum of money stashed away in their accounts.
But it’s not just the wealthy who are being targeted. Low-income senior citizens are also vulnerable to financial exploitation. These atrocities aren’t usually committed by strangers. Over 90% of all reported elder abuse is perpetrated by a senior’s own family members, most commonly adult children, grandkids, nieces and nephews, and others.
How To Protect Your Seniors
There are various ways to protect them; the most important one remains to educate them about the subject. They do not need to know everything but know the common things.
– Talk to them about downloads and attachments. If they receive any mail that they may find suspicious, they should forward it to a trustworthy person first to check if it is a true message or a scam.
– Don’t share information. Important information should be given in person only- or if they contacted the bank themselves, not the other way. They shouldn’t share their information with anyone, especially online.
– Secure their gadgets. Whether their phone or laptop, you must subscribe them to a good anti-virus from a reputable provider.
In these situations, you must have a good talk with them about technologies and all the dangers that they may hold. They should be extra careful and speak to you about everything that might look odd.
What Can Be Done If Your Parent Gets Scammed
Even if you do not want to think about the worst, it may happen, so you better be prepared. We elaborated some steps to take if your parent or a senior you know is being scammed.
You may start by contacting the police if you already know the culprit, but if you do not have any information, you should contact the FBI, who you can contact via their online site.
If you are contacting the FBI, you should have the following information;
– Dates when the scammer contacts the victim.
– Description of the interactions.
– Channels of communication.
– Payment method.
– Name of the ‘company’ or scammer.
– Any email, phone number or mailing address that the scammer has used.
– Financial information; where they send money, through which channel, which bank, account names and account numbers.
All this information will allow the FBI or police to work on your case and will be able to trace back to the offender.
It is important to protect your parents; you should always check on them, especially when it comes to a sector that they don’t know much about. Offenders take this lack of resources and knowledge to their advantage, so if you successfully initiate your parents and seniors to how scammers may try to get to them, it can save them from losing money. In the comments, let us know how you will educate your parents or relatives on the subject…