Research from the Wall Street Journal, “If you’re Over Fifty you’re a Scam Target” has confirmed that the 50+ demographic is most vulnerable to scams. The article states that one of the best ways to protect your loved ones is to make them aware of potential danger. For those whose loved one is suffering from the early stages of dementia, increased monitoring is necessary.
One of the main ways to target seniors is by taking advantage of emotions. Using email and internet pop-ups, scammers advertise “free” contests to win things such as concert tickets or a cruise. Getting seniors excited about potentially winning can lead them to give out confidential information.
Some scammers take advantage of emotions using the “grandparent scam” – claiming to be a grandchild or other family member in desperate need of money. These scams are usually quite dramatic and have been known to claim that the grandchild is in jail or stuck overseas without any money.
Another type of fraud includes fake drug prescription cards. The con artist selling these may even go door to door looking for information they can use to commit identity theft. Fake charitable donations and magazine subscriptions are also prevalent.
The best fraud prevention is knowledge. Advising aging patents of the danger can be a good start. Even better, regularly check the mail and their inbox for an excessive number of advertisements. Finally, if you need to be even more proactive, consider adding your name on mom or dad’s bank account so you can watch for suspicious activity.