Dec 4th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Scams Against Senior Citizens

Among the most insidious of those who prey upon seniors are scam artists. All kinds.  They weasel their way into the network of the vulnerable and naive.  They identify all kinds of gimmicks, tricks, bargains, and deals that may catch a senior unawares and willing to take the bait.  The senior, often on the look out for ways to increase his/her portfolio or treasure chest, maybe getting something for free,  are subject to the machinations and manipulations of those who have no regard for the senior, other than bilking that senior for any resources they may have.

Protecting oneself requires alert and conscientious protection not to give in to the glitzy promises and low down guises that attempt to separate the senior’s money from him/herself.  Particularly is it necessary around year end to be on guard against those who may try to slip into your confidence and offer all kinds of tempting and appealing deals.

Whether by phone, email, especially so, or US postage, be aware of the tricks that will be tried.  Just the other day I was offered a sweet deal when I was invited to call a Cruise Line for a free 8 day, all expenses paid, plus airline tickets for two, if I would just call and verify the offer.  Alarm bells sounded.  There was no return address, no indication of the source of this largesse, no means for back tracking the offer.  Just call.  Uh oh!  If it sounds and looks like a scam, it likely is.

Scammers work on your trust. They are never trustworthy, but they know you are gullible and assume that any offer is legitimate.  Not so.  Not true.  Never smart to give in.  Getting caught up in the maze of a scammer’s tricks is the first lesson in how to avoid their chicanery.

All they need is a foot in the proverbial door.  Do not allow them to take any of your precious time, for doing so means they will do their best to compromise your precious resources.  It may start out quite innocently, a friendly greeting, a quick offer, a give away that would offer you a holiday, a vacation, free everything.   If it is too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.

Say NO to Scam Artists

If you or your elderly loved one receives an unsolicited telephone call or email or snail-mail offering a big prize, and all the respondent has to do is respond (i.e., call or return a piece of mail), the antennae should go up immediately. That kind of communication needs to be looked at with a jaundiced eye.  No one is giving anything away.  They are trying to sell something, and it may well be a scam to get your hard-earned money.

Step One is to shut off the caller, the solicitor, the means of contact immediately, forthrightly and permanently.  No answers are good answers to any question asked.  Information, for the scammer, is the key that unlocks the door.

When the scammer resists, by upping the ante, turn it off, shut it down, refuse any further contact.  Any attempt must be headed off to let the scam artist know you are not a candidate for what they are offering.

Offers are frequently made that prey upon seniors’ vulnerabilities.  Elderly people may not recognize these techniques.  That is a danger signal.  If you are targeted and tempted, you need to seek out counsel and assistance from someone who will aid you in understanding that these methods are not for you.   No matter how vulnerable and pliable a senior may be, they will be much worse off by giving in to any efforts on the part of scammers.

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