It can seem like scammers are getting more creative and persistent every year. Many people receive multiple scam phone calls each day. Even Texans that have grown up with access to the Internet and are incredibly familiar with the many forms of online and email fraud sometimes get taken by surprise.
Not all scammers solicit money directly. These days, personal and financial information is just as valuable, if not more so. Unfortunately, older Americans who weren’t introduced to cell phones, email, and the Internet until later in their lives aren’t always aware of scammers’ ever-evolving attempts to steal not just money but also personal information.
Elderly Texans tend to be more trusting than their younger family members. They’re also more likely to have substantial assets and financial savings, and to make matters even worse, seniors are less likely to report becoming the victim of fraud. When combined, these three factors make seniors the perfect targets for scammers.
No one wants to lose money or go through the many hassles associated with identity theft, but for seniors, these issues can be especially devastating. People who have worked their whole lives to save for retirement deserve to reap the benefits of all those years of working and saving. The good news is that younger relatives and friends can help potentially vulnerable seniors avoid these problems. Read on to find out how to identify scammers that prey on the elderly.
Scammers Often Prey on Feelings of Isolation
Older adults who live in isolation already experience higher levels of dementia and cognitive decline alongside increased risks of developing serious mental and physical health issues. Scammers often prey on feelings of loneliness and isolation, knowing that seniors who live alone are more easily victimized.
Younger loved ones can do their part by staying in touch and making sure that their aging parents, grandparents, or other family members maintain social connections. One of the best ways for long-distance caregivers and other loved ones who can only keep in touch by phone to help is by talking to aging family members about moving into assisted living homes in Kerrville, TX. Assisted living gives seniors the chance to maintain vibrant social lives and fight off feelings of isolation.
Scammers’ Tactics Change All the Time
Scammers change their tactics all the time trying to find new ways to steal money and information. Few seniors are committed to keeping up with news of new scams, which is part of why they’re more likely to be victimized. Younger relatives can help by staying up-to-date with the changing landscape of online, phone, and in-person financial fraud and passing on information to their loved ones about the most recent scams. In 2022, those can include:
- Alleged emergencies involving loved ones in need of money.
- Phone calls that threaten penalties or arrest if the victim doesn’t pay a fine.
- Demands for taxes on fake lottery or sweepstakes winnings.
- Fraudulent emails from subscription services like Netflix or iCloud that solicit personal information.
- Stimulus and social security check scams.
- And many others.
It’s also worth noting that some scammers stick to old favorites. Look out for unlikely love interests or supposed friends coming out of nowhere. That person could be legitimately interested, or he or she could be trying to take advantage of a trusting senior.
Trouble With Personal Finances Can Be a Red Flag
Seniors who are having trouble with managing their personal finances are more likely to become victims of fraud and less likely to report it. Unfortunately, this behavior could point to a higher risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.
When aging parents or grandparents ask for help with finances, try to pay attention to patterns and trends. Ask for copies of credit reports and notifications of withdrawal requests from banks, and look out for issues like monthly bills going unpaid or money getting lost.
These kinds of problems can indicate that it may be time to talk about moving to a memory care community. When in doubt about the most appropriate course of action, reach out to a senior living advocate for information about assisted living vs memory care and which would be the best option.
River Point of Kerrville Offers Hope
No senior should have to live in isolation or worry about whether those life savings are safe. At River Point of Kerrville’s assisted living community, we offer not just help with managing daily tasks and protection against disreputable individuals, but also a sense of camaraderie and hope.
Instead of worrying about an aging parent living in isolation, give us a call at (830) 258-4150 to discuss options and schedule a tour. We can help.