Report statistics have shown the extent to which individuals have fallen victims to some confidence schemes and financial fraud. Over time, it has been sidelined to elderly persons who fall victims to such criminal acts due to their aging. Scammers make use of romance, sweepstakes scams, lottery, and many others. They do all this by gaining the trust of their targets and communicating with them through emails, phones, computers, and sometimes through radio and TV programs. Such scammers tend to keep their schemes going as a result of their prospects for financial gains.
Elderly and financially vulnerable individuals are often targeted because they trust, stretch for income, and be polite. They are owners of good houses, have good financial savings, and have good credit- all of which are the core interest of scammers.
Furthermore, elderly ones may be less inclined to file reports because they don’t know how to go about the process or are too ashamed. Their concern springs from their relatives being dissatisfied with their inability to handle their finances. In some cases, even when an elderly person makes a report on a scam, the individual may not supply detailed information to the investigation team.
Typical Schemes that scammers use for Elderly People
- Tech support scam
Scammers act as technical support representatives and make offers to fix computer issues that do not exist. With such a technique, the scammers get direct access to individuals’ devices and sensitive information.
- Romance Scam
Scammers act as potential romantic suitors on social media and dating sites. They capitalize on the elderly victims desire to get a good looking companion
- Home repair scam
Scammers visit homes and pose as home improvement service providers to charge homeowners and perpetuate their criminal activity.
- Lottery/ charity Scam
Scammers tend to lure individuals by posing as workers for charitable organizations to gain their victim’s trust. Some also bring claims telling their targets about their lottery win, which the victims can access after paying a specified amount.
- Government impersonation crime
Scammers act as government employees and make false threats to arrest victims unless they agree to make a payment or provide funds.
- Radio/ TV Scam technique
Scammers target TV or radio subscribers by using illegitimate adverts about legal services such as credit repairs or mortgages.
It would be best if you protect yourself from the hands of scammers, and a few ways to come out victorious is by doing the following
- Ensure you resist pressure to act quickly when scammers create a sense of urgency
- Be careful of any unsolicited phone call or email.
- Ensure your computer security and malware are updated
- Recognize scammers technique and immediately cut all communication
- Do not send jewelry, money, checks, and gift cards to unverified businesses or people.
- When you stumble across a pop-up message or lock screen, disconnect yourself immediately.
- Choose your downloads carefully. Do not open an email attachment from an unknown sender.
If you believe you have been a victim or a potential victim, do well to contact the police. Never keep things to yourself, as it will give room for scammers to continue perpetrating such illegal acts to people.