Scams are very rampant to this day, and they are everywhere. Some individuals have also used the internet for their own good. Someone might offer you a job, specifically an online job, adding to the fact that we are in tough times, we are easily persuaded and might take the bait.
Of course, the elders are no exempt. As a matter of fact, older adults are the chosen target of scammers. When it comes to technology, some seniors are naïve. Many of them have a hard time keeping up with the pace.
Another factors why they are scammers’ favorite targets is that they are easy to deceive. Some of them are lonely and are longing to find their purpose in life. Most of them are willing to support young people and offer them their full trust.
We will walk you through the most common senior scams you need to know;
Medical/Health Insurance Deception
Fraudsters pretend to be a Medicare representative, and they will attempt to operate door-to-door or via phone calls. Some may tell you to renew your Medicare card or to disclose your social security number. Some may even ask you to pay a service fee ranging from $50 to $100 for navigating any Medicare insurance.
Most US citizens at the age of 65 are eligible to participate in the Medicare benefits. Because of this, fraudsters see them as a bank account that is easy to access since most of the older adults are gullible.
Anti-Aging Product Fraud
Today’s society has a higher standard when it comes to physical appearance. Everyone seems to be so crazy to follow the trends. You won’t fit in in the society they built if you can’t meet their high standards.
Individuals that are most targeted in this type of fraud are women aged 50 to 60. Who doesn’t want to look young and beautiful? Most of these women are trying hard to conceal their true age and there is nothing wrong with that. But to compromise your health only to look young is a different story.
Seniors take more drugs than the average individuals, and prescription drugs today are very expensive for the seniors’ tight budget. Because of this, they tend to look for an alternative to sustain their medications. That’s when the fraudsters start to jump in.
Counterfeit medicines are fake and very harmful to your health. They are produced by fraudsters and will label them similar to the original brand to make them look authentic and a genuine product. They are less expensive that’s why seniors opt to buy these ‘medicines’ instead of the prescribed drugs.
Numerous investment schemes target seniors since they are planning for retirement. Seniors will look for a good investment so they could manage their savings. Schemes like pyramiding which victims are most seniors and fables of a Nigerian prince that are hard to understand have long been successful to scam older people.
This type of scammers is evil and clever. They will try to win your heart and trust to take advantage of you. They will establish a profile similar to people you know and pretend that you are related to them. Scammers may even make “fake scenarios” for them to be believable. They will ask for money from you to pay rent, car repair, etc.
This is more likely to occur when natural disasters take place. The fraudsters will pretend to make charities to help people devastated by the storm and will solicit from you. The worst is, scammers target the actual victims of natural disasters. These scammers solicit funds through phone calls, social media, or even in person but no penny will reach the victims.
Fraudsters will call seniors and will tell them they have won the sweepstakes or lottery. But to get the “prize”, they have to pay fees for the transactions or scammers may even ask them to disclose sensitive information. Once they take the bait, it’s all done for them.
More and more people are engaging themselves in technology. According to the 2017 Pew Survey, seniors over 65 go online and 40% of them own a smartphone. The most common online scams that target seniors are phishing, malware scam, and sweetheart scams. Once they accidentally or purposely click these types of scams, frauds will have easy access to their IDs which will lead to serious problems.
A scam is a serious crime. As a young adult, we are responsible to teach seniors the things they need to know about technologies and all forms of bogus. This way, they can prevent scams from happening.
If you are a victim of these frauds, don’t hesitate to reach out to the authorities as they are more than willing to solve the problem you’ve faced.