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I look forward to the day when we no longer need to warn senior citizens about scams designed to separate them from their hard-earned money. I’m not holding my breath, however.
According to the FBI, senior citizens make attractive targets for con artists for a variety of reasons:
They’re more likely to have a nest egg, own their home and have good credit.
Seniors are less likely to report fraud because they don’t know where to report it, don’t realize they’ve been scammed, or are too ashamed at having been duped — possibly fearing they won’t be trusted to manage their own finances going forward.
When elderly victims do report crimes, they often make poor witnesses because of faulty memory.
Seniors are more susceptible to products promising increased wealth, cognitive function, virility, physical conditioning, anti-cancer properties and so on.
Here’s a roundup of common telemarketing scams targeting seniors and how you can avoid them:
Be wary, even if callers appear legitimate. Caller ID “spoofers” pretending to represent your bank, credit card company, or government agencies may try to trick you into revealing personal information under the pretext of fixing a security breach. When in doubt, hang up and contact the organization yourself.
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