In recent years, fraud has become one of the most expensive crimes in the country. In 2015, the financial services company, TrueLink, estimated the total loss to fraud at $36.5 billion, and AARP reports that the average loss per victim of fraud is $120,000. Adults over sixty account for millions of fraud victims each year.
There are a few reasons why elderly adults are more susceptible to fraud schemes. For one, most of them grew up in a time without technology which has made it easier than ever for criminals to fraud people. Also, many seniors grew up in periods that made them more trusting of others.
Here are some tips to help your elderly family and friends combat fraud schemes:
Encourage the adults over sixty in your life to shred important and financial documentation. Credit card statements, housing documents and anything that could provide bank information to a criminal should be destroyed once it’s no longer needed.
#2-Add To The “Do Not Call” List
To help cut down on the number of solicitation and potentially fraudulent calls, add senior adults to the official DO NOT CALL list. Find more info here.
#3-Communicate The Dangers
Most elderly grew up in a more trusting time. Nowadays, with advances in technology and rampant fraud activity, financial institutions have adopted stricter rules regarding the collection of information. For the most part, no important information regarding identity or finances is collected over the phone unless you initiate the call.
#4-Sign Up For Direct Deposit
Signing up for direct deposit for all benefits checks can help deter checks being stolen from the mail.
#5-Take Special Precautions In A Crisis
During crisis situations, like the recent COVID-19 pandemic, criminals attempt to take advantage of the elderly by launching complicated fraud scams. Oftentimes the fraudulent party pretends to be a family member or friend and requests money either via transfer or gift card purchase. Alert the elderly adults in your life of these types of schemes and set up a protocol for how they should respond.