Telemarketing Scams Target the ElderlyBy Robert Siciliano August 19, 2010 | 02:00 PMPosted in: Senior Safety
We hear it over and over how the elderly are often targeted by scammers. Elderly are simply “elders” and no smarter or dumber than anyone
else. If anything, they are wiser. However, as we age we often get feeble,
weaker in the mind. That slightly weaker state of mind is when the scammer
strikes. You one day may be part of a telemarketing scam.
The psychology behind the success of
these scams might have to do with the nature of the scam. Often they put a
degree of pressure on the victim in regards to losing something or gaining
something, but inevitably, it’s the pressure put on them that makes the victim act.
Often the plan to scam money will involve something the victim is aware of, but
doesn’t have a good understanding of. The scammer often does their best to
speak in a way that is basic, but at the same time slightly over the head of
the victim. They lead the victim down a rabbit hole that they can’t pull
themselves out of.
In Ohio and all over the country, tried
and true lottery scams are emptying bank accounts. In one scam a man loses
$500,000 and in another $250,000.
“U.S. postal inspectors say
they're seeing fresh reports about these old-fashioned scams: Senior citizens
from Cleveland, Youngstown, Toledo, Mansfield and Madison have recently reported
losing hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece. The newest phone scams follow
an old-fashioned formula: Scammers promise huge lottery winnings and then
string victims along by inventing some problem -- taxes, a customs problem, and
a legal fee -- that requires victims to send a sizable chunk of cash to free up
their winnings. The recent victims are elderly and, for the most part, widowed,
childless or estranged from family. They may have medical or other issues that
cloud their judgment.”
Once the bad-guy locks in on them, they won’t
let go until the bank account is beyond empty. Victims have been known to pull
all the equity out of their houses as well.
In our day to
day affairs with life so hectic and busy, it’s easy to forget those in our
lives who are older and who may not be an immediate family member. These are
people who the scammers often prey upon.
Who in your
life could use some checking in on?
Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source
discussing scammers and thieves on The Big Idea with Donnie Deutsch.Disclosures
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