Watch for These Senior Citizen Fraud Crimes
Fraud against seniors is an alarming trend in this country. In fact, older Americans lose $36 billion every year to financial scams and abuse. The problem is only growing. Researchers say older adults with cognitive decline are one of the more vulnerable segments of this population. Declining cognition is associated with a 33 percent boost in scam susceptibility; however, this doesn’t mean healthy older adults can’t fall victim. In fact, many victims of financial fraud are not disabled and don’t have dementia.
In any given year, 1 in 18 “cognitively intact” older adults is taken for a ride in terms of financial scams, fraud or abuse.
Seniors and Fraud
The FBI’s Common Fraud Schemes webpage shows us tips on how to protect yourself and your family from fraud. Senior citizens in particular should take note of fraud schemes because they:
- Are more likely to have a significant nest egg, to own their home, and to have excellent credit; these factors make them very attractive to con artists.
- Grew up in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, raised to be polite and trusting. This trusting nature is something that con artists exploit. They know it’s difficult for older Americans to say no or just hang up the phone on them.
- Are less likely to report a fraud because they are unsure of where to report it, are too ashamed at being the victim of a scam, or don’t even know they have been scammed in the first place. They may fail to report crimes because they are concerned that relatives may think they lack the mental capacity to care for their own finances.
- Make poor witnesses. Con artists understand the effects of age on memory, and they rely on elderly victims being unable to give investigators detailed information. On top of that, they know victims’ realization they have been scammed may take weeks or months, making details even more elusive.
- Are most interested in products promising increased mental capacity, a better sex life, decreased chance of cancer, and optimal physical conditioning. They cling to any hope they can to ensure a longer and more fulfilling life. Therefore, they are more susceptible to believing con artists’ claims.
Those who are over the age of 60 and live alone, particularly females, are more susceptible to being targeted for the sale of bogus products and services over the telephone. Telemarketing scams may offer:
- Cheap vacations
- Free prizes
- Affordable vitamins and health care products
- Affordable prescriptions
To learn more tips to avoid these scams, visit the Telemarketing Fraud webpage.
Contact D&N Law Group
Senior citizen fraud is a criminal offense. We handle these types of cases here at D&N Law Group. Contact us today at 972-252-0886 for a free consultation.