Are You Ripe to Be Scammed?
We all like to think that we’re too smart to be scammed (and maybe we are) but some of the most vulnerable people on the planet, our seniors, are getting ripped off at an alarming rate. There seem to be some common traits that scammers try to exploit to their advantage. Look below and see if you, or the senior in your life, might be leaving yourself open to fraud.
- You’re lonely. Scammers are notorious for preying on lonely people. A person who is desperate for company or attention is far more likely to be taken in than someone with a large circle of family, friends, and activities.
- You’re friendly. Don’t be taken in by friend requests on social media. Stick to the people you know.
- You respect authority. It's highly unlikely that the IRS, Social Security office, or your local bank would be calling you demanding money or information. Do yourself a favor and hang up!
- You're stressed out or in a vulnerable position. It's challenging to make good decisions when you're in less than a wonderful place. Be extra vigilant when dealing with strangers (in person or on the phone) when you've been ill, recently lost a loved one, or experienced any one of a million things that can cause you not to be performing at your highest level.
- Don’t be too sure of yourself. Sometimes people who think they’re smarter than the scammers are the easiest targets. Keep in mind that scammers are very creative and have no scruples.
- You’ve been scammed before. Hard to believe, but people who have been victims in the past are apt to be victims again. There are even “victim lists” that are sold to other scammers and criminals.
It’s a sad commentary on the state of things, but you must always be on the lookout for people who are trying to get money or information from you. It's also imperative that our seniors are protected from these vultures. It's not always impossible to undo the damage (mental and financial) that can be done by these people, but avoiding the situation in the first place is a much better plan.