We’ve all heard the stories about senior citizens being scammed, and we would never want it to happen to our own loved ones. But, why senior citizens? What makes them more vulnerable?
The Federal Bureau of Investigation offers a few reasons why. Some of them include:
- Their manners. Back in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, you just didn’t hang up on someone. It was very rude. People who grew up in these decades have a hard time disconnecting a call, even when it is a stranger trying to entice them into a financial decision
- They’ve had a long time to save up their money and build a nest egg. This means they’re all the more attractive to con artists, who target them specifically.
- Older Americans often don’t report fraud because they are either ashamed or else they don’t know who they can turn to.
- It’s harder for them to act as a witness. Sometimes age brings a decline in memory. It will often be weeks and months after the senior’s last contact with the con artist before they realize what happened. By then, some of their memory will be less sharp, which can be difficult when they’re trying to give a statement to law enforcement.
- New medical breakthroughs happen every day, and scamsters prey upon this fact when talking to seniors. They promise a medical cure to any number of ailments– often playing the part of the modern-day snake oil salesman. But, because there is so much scientific progress with medicine, it’s a little bit easier for the senior to believe and thus be taken in.
If you or a loved one have been swindled by a con artist, take action now. Stop all payments going out of your bank accounts, and contact law enforcement. You can find out more about the right steps to take and common types of scams targeted at seniors using the FBI’s Common Fraud Schemes section of their website.
Timberwood Bank, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender