Check out “Why Older People are Vulnerable to Fraud & How to Protect Them, a February 2017 New York Times article that describes the ways older adults are susceptible to fraudulent phone calls and offers, especially when it concerns investments. It also makes suggestions about what people who get entangled in these offers can do. The report shares a study conducted by AARP.
Just about everyone receives telephone calls asking them to use their money to do something. The trick as one ages, I believe, is to avoid making any initial decision over the telephone and to be fairly abrupt or rude — or just hang up — when answering the phone and discovering that a caller is attempting to sell something. The problem is, most of the elders in my life would never think of being rude — it is not a part of their personal DNA.
Most Interesting Findings
- Both strangers and familiar people can attempt to steal from older adults.
- You can check the background of any person who claims to be a broker before doing anything with that person.
- People who are most susceptible to fraud may be people who make repeated decisions on their investments.
I’ve found that at my home and at my parents’ home, questionable calls — whether investment fraud, hard sell, or merely scams that try to steal money — come in at the rate of three or four per day. It’s incumbent on adult children to talk about these issues with their parents and practice phone strategies — before a problem happens. Check out my post Aging Parents & Telephone Fraud — Five Rules That Protect, which includes a printable PDF.
Other AsOurParentsAge Blog Posts About Telephone Fraud
Thank you Marti for posting this. I have been researching lately for these kinds of concerns and I’ve come across your blog. True enough that there are a lot of scams and fraud nowadays that can put you at large risks and potential danger. Not only that they can steal assets and a few wealth, but they can pose great danger to our lives.
This is highly important to regard. Thanks!
Some of these scammers have nearly fooled me – and I recently caught my wife reading her credit card number off to a random stranger on the phone who claimed to be from fraud prevention. Obviously we cancelled the card – but if we’re getting duped into this stuff, what’s going to happen to our parents as they reach that age where your mind starts to slip?
It’s incredibly sad that people would prey on the most vulnerable in our society especially if they don’t have the greatest grip on technology, but it’s definitely something that can happen to the best of us as well. Thanks for bringing it to attention in your article!