Unfortunately, the elderly have long been targets of fraudsters due to their naturally trusting dispositions and the fact that they don’t know all that much about how computers and technology work. Others suffer from diseases like Alzheimer’s that impair their judgment or awareness. Fraudsters prey on these people because of these reasons as well as the fact that many of them have large bank accounts.
From prescription drug scams to stock scams, it’s important to look out for the senior citizen in your life and make sure they don’t get taken advantage of. This includes having a securities lawyer in your corner in case they do get taken advantage of. In fact, stock broker fraud is very common among seniors, says theFBI, as this particular age group is vulnerable due to:
- Large nest eggs in their retirement
- Their polite and trusting natures
- The likelihood they won’t report fraud simply because they don’t know where to turn
- Shame, not wanting to let others know they have been duped
However, it’s more important than ever to protect your elderly loved ones, in light of these most common forms of fraud for senior citizens:
- Internet and Email Scams. We all take for granted that we are savvy online; however, many senior citizens are not, and find it hard to navigate – scary even – because they don’t understand it. Social media sites in particular are especially scary for them and scam artists know this. Did you know that adults over the age of 74 go online mainly for health and product information as well as the latest news? That’s all well and good, but in regards to online and email safety, they can easily be persuaded into doing something they don’t feel confortable with. You may know all the tricks because you see them every day. However, it’s easy for a trusting senior to hand over their personal information (think credit card and social security numbers) to a slick sounding stranger.
- Prescription Drug Scams. Sure, prescription drug costs are on the rise, especially with Medicare, and many seniors simply can’t afford the medications they need. In turn, they may seek out deals online or over the phone that could turn out to be scams. With so many seniors living on fixed incomes, it’s easy to fall victim to scam artists who promise to deliver on their essential medications like heart meds and anti-aging products at super low prices, only to take the cash and never be seen again.
- Less Than Reputable Stock Brokers. It’s too easy for senior citizens to blindly trust their stock brokers, who in turn can take advantage of them with shady trades, investment pressures, or false or misleading information. This is all considered stock fraud and it’s illegal. Even friends who are stock brokers can take advantage of seniors, so always be leery of who you choose to entrust your financial information. Double check everything so your loved one is not a victim of senior citizen fraud!