Scammers have taken on many forms throughout history, and they still exist today. And just like their forebears, they prey routinely on people’s trust and goodwill. The elderly often find themselves victims of scammers’ fast talk and get-rich-quick schemes, and it doesn’t help matters when they’re all too often armed with trusting hearts and bank accounts filled with their life savings.
You can take the first steps towards protecting your aging loved one by educating yourself on the most common scams in operation, as well as keeping yourself in the loop on your parents or grandparents financial activities. Some of the more perpetrated scams include:
- Grandparent scams – A stranger calls a grandparent up and says that their grandchild has an emergency and needs money fast. The grandparent is then instructed to hand the money to an accomplice who will deliver the money to the “grandchild”.
- Pet scams – Would-be pet owners are swindled into putting large amounts of money into adopting pets from abroad.
- “Free lunch” scams – Offers of a free lunch are then followed by high-pressure pitches on bogus investment plans.
Teaching your elderly loved ones of scams is just the start; tell your loved one that anytime they feel unsure or suspicious of an offer being presented to them, that they should approach you and get your feedback on the situation. But be prepared as well to take over the management of your loved one’s finances in case they find themselves frequent victims of fraud.
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