A study reported by the American Psychological Association (APA) revealed that older adults are 10 times more likely to remember false information — and believe me it’s true — than younger adults. The combination of not remembering correctly and being unwilling to admit there’s a problem can make older adults especially vulnerable to scam artists.
The Detroit Free Press reported that lonely seniors had an increased risk of being the victims of fraud. The article sited research done by Wayne State University that found that one in 20 adults, 50 and older, reported being the victim of fraud in a national survey. Those numbers are probably higher if fraud is done by someone known to the older adult. And those whose social needs are felt to be unmet are the more likely victims of fraud.
So what can be done to limit your risk?
- Get things in writing, including estimates and warranties.
- Register your phone with the national “Do Not Call” registry to avoid many telemarketing calls
- Do not give out personal information on the phone or through email requests. If you get a request from your bank or credit card company asking for personal information, do not click on that link in the email but go through a blank page to the bank’s website or call the bank/card company directly.
- Don’t download an email attachment from someone you don’t know or click on a link in an unsolicited email.
- Consider a credit monitoring service for an especially vulnerable older adult.
What suggestions do you make to your clients and family members to protect themselves from scams?
Featured Image: Flickr @Franklin Park Library