The big scam in senior debt is the attraction of the big payoffs and attractive promises to get you out of financial troubles. However, many senior citizens fall prey to these schemes as it does not have any merit. One should be careful in choosing the right private lenders and be aware of the scammer. If you are sure that you are on the right track and your deal is legit, then you need to look for a way to detect scam lenders.
Fraudsters’ device new means and techniques to beat any trap that is laid for them. The elderly is scammed through a lottery, online enticements, and financial advisors and by friends and family. Data from previous researchers prove that the elderly population is the most scammed and that, of every 18 senior citizens, 1 is a victim of fraud.
These figures are terrifying. It was further shown that only one victim out of every 44 reports about the scam. This brings the amount that is scammed from seniors to an estimated value of $36.5 billion per year. Lottery scams were the most common conduits; however, online fraud has been growing and taking shape in the recent past.
Financial scammers always target the elderly for specific reasons; some attribute it to the health conditions. Some think it is a social problem, such that since they do not have anyone to talk to, the scammers fill this void, they groom their way to gaining trust and then strike.
Thus, you can avoid all the scams and avoid getting ripped off. Take some time to check if the private lender is reliable like Raffles Credit is legitimate and avoid getting into the danger of senior debt consolidation scams. And, mostly, family members always have a hand in the extortion and fraud tactics. These are the best ways to protect yourself.
- Stay involved
Play a proactive role in life and in business. If this is impossible due to loss of eyesight of mobility or health-related conditions, avoid isolation by visiting your local elder care and get involved with your mates. Withdrawing from the community is one of the best windows that scammers use to work you out and swindle you of money or estates.
- Only buy from trusted companies.
A lot of companies try to take advantage of this situation, and they end up as scams. Thus, to avoid falling into the same fraud and getting scammed, you must be very wary about any company.
Conduct background research of the company and check if it has already been exposed to scams. A very famous site is FTC Scam Tracker, which helps the people find out if they are going to be victimized by scam lenders. This way, you can be sure that you are going to get out of any scam situation.
Your financial decisions regarding purchases and charity are of grave importance. Some people create fictional companies that urge you to purchase from them a good which will not be delivered. Also, charities will approach you with needs. If you are not keen, you may give them your financial details or credit card information without knowing. Therefore, it is a good practice to have a witness to any signatory from your side and a complete suspension of purchases from people or companies that are suspicious.
- Do not leave receipts and other documents lying around
After use, ensure all the receipts and credit card information are destroyed. You can shred them or burn them – in which case you are not advised to leave any sensitive financial information lying around in the house. Also, do not give anyone your account information either on the phone or in person.
- Directly bank your benefit checks
Avoid using your mail to transfer your checks for deposit. It is risky since you may be stolen right under your nose by your family member, or the mail be hijacked and never reach the intended destination. Protect yourself and your family by depositing all the checks in your home.
- Do not share your personal financial information
Unless you have initiated a call that you are required to give away some of your details, such as the social security number, you are not advised to send or share any information regarding your finances. Credit cards, tax IDs, banking details, passwords, Medicare details, and social security numbers are the most sought documents by the fraudsters. A Medicare account might be the most vulnerable mainly since one may sell goods and services to you, which will end up not being rendered. They will bill you through Medicare and ask you to pay by giving them your Medicare number so they will bill later. Always rub a review on your Medicare to ensure the listed activities are a reflection of what you did.
- Do not succumb to pressure to sign a purchase contract
A young, energetic mind will note that this may be a scam. However, a senior citizen may not be able to see or notice any red flags. Scientists attribute this to slowed brain activity, especially financially. Therefore, you should not allow anyone to pressure you from signing any document without an able witness. Read all the terms of the contract and understand the cancellation and conditions of a refund. This allows you to be in control of your finances and safeguard your account information.
How to protect senior citizens
These are the indicative signs that your loved one is falling prey and suggestions on how to protect them:
- Sudden changes in the conduct and lifestyle of the elderly
- Being denied access to other people by their caregivers
- A sudden pile-up of bills, mails, gifts, etc.
- Unpaid essentials like rent and other utility bills despite sufficient income.
- Unusual withdrawals and use of the person’s credit card.
Adult protective services are a program that is tasked with receiving, and investigating reports of abuse, exploitation, and neglect of the elderly, and take action towards protecting them.
If any of the above signs are seen on any member of the senior community, you should make a report with the APS for help. Most of the time, the protective services will respect the rights of the elderly to live on their terms.
However, in cases of impairment, they will be inclined to take action without necessarily needing permission from the individual. Cases with APS are confidential, you may never get to know the outcome but you will have helped.
If you fall prey and realize it, you should call your banker and request cancellation of the credit cards and debit cards that are associated with your account and move fast to change your account information such as passwords.
The bottom line
Cybercrime has proved to be a menace to the community just as it is to businesses and governments. You are not so protected by the networks that you use. Scammers and fraudsters are likely to bypass the security apparatus you have installed and caused damage to you. For the elderly, they have plenty of options. Taking advantage of their vulnerability and loneliness seems to be the most used tactic.