Protect Your Elderly Parents From Falling for Fraud
Who Scammers Target
According to a 2009 study by MetLife’s Mature Market Institute, seniors lose approximately $2.6 billion each year due to financial fraud.
People older than 50 possess characteristics that make them easy targets for financial abuse such as expecting honesty in the marketplace. It is important to educate your parents about the untruthful people behind these operations.
Signs of Fraud
Some signs that your elderly parent may be a prime target for fraud include 20 or more unknown telephone callers per day. The scammers know that a majority of the senior citizen generation rely heavily on their landlines, and will not hang up the phone as quickly as your generation.
A few Popular Telephone Scams to Look out for
If your parents are more receptive to phone calls, there is a good chance they are likely to receive junk mail letters from the same scammers.
Credit Card Company Call
This call includes an impersonator who says he’s from the credit card company and can identify the last four digits of the senior’s account number. The scammer has probably already copied the account number.
He states he is checking on a potential fraudulent purchase and he needs the senior to state the three- digit verification code on the back of the credit card. The senior should hang the phone up and immediately call their credit card company where they will likely figure out the first call was a scam.
When the senior answers the phone, a childish voice responds somewhere along the lines with, “Hey Grandma, do you know who this is? I’m in trouble and I need your help. Please do not tell my parents.” The grandparent should know to never immediately identify herself and the caller will give up if the grandparent challenges the caller.
Social Security Fraud
This scam involves thieves trying to steal personal information and calling the Social Security Administration and asking them to change the location to send the payment to the scammers’ bank accounts. You should make sure your elderly parents know to be aware of any request of personal information and to call the SSA whenever they suspect fraud.