Several studies show that older adults are highly targeted by different frauds and financial scam
Several studies show that older adults are highly targeted by different frauds and financial scams. This activity is primarily based on comprehensive, cognitive, and emotional regulation paradigms. Many policies have already been put in place by authorities to regulate this issue. Even so, why are these older ones susceptible to such scams? This blog answers that question.
Why are the older adults frequent targets of fraud each year?
There are several reasons why adults are victims of financial scam and frauds. Here are some of the reasons:
- Excess trust issues. This has been identified as the leading cause of their vulnerability. Older people tend to be overly trusting, making it easy to hook them into financial scam and exploit them. The fraudsters take advantage of it to lure their victims into giving in to their trickery.
- Psychological susceptibility. This happens especially to older ones with poor life experiences, depression, or low fulfillment of social needs. They portray a strong psychological need to relate with others, making them easily trapped by scammers. People with this problem can exhibit a double probability of being tricked, and they are more likely to be fraud victims.
- Risk-taking behavior. As compared to young people, the elderly like taking risks, even with people they don’t know well. They will pay attention to salespeople and con artists and end up defrauded since they have low-risk perception. They may participate in very risky financial decision-making. Furthermore, older adults tend to rely on luck when making investments. They do so with much money, hoping to recover any loss that might occur.
- Little knowledge. Honestly, these individuals might be susceptible because of lacking the necessary information or literacy about fraud. They are not aware of such things as scams and will be likely unable to correctly screen information. A significant number may have low financial knowledge making it challenging to identify any presented form of fraud. Interestingly, those who know a bit about financial matters overestimate they are confident in their decisions even when inappropriate, and this also makes it simple for them to be victims.
- Social isolation. This is a risk factor since when the elderly feel isolated, they may engage culprits in a way to try and create social connections. The fraudsters will use loneliness as an opportunity. They try to express false concerns and establish fake friendships with them to attract their attention, win trust, and trick them into planned fraud situations. Most studies have shown that older ones who live alone and do not get frequent supervision from their families are prey for their perpetrators.
- Health-related factors. Due to aging, the elderly can experience cognitive and other physical changes that increase the dangers of financial exploitation. Such changes like cognitive impairment, functionality difficulties, poor health, and high reliance on others can contribute to these problems. Remember that even family members and close relatives can be scammers and fraudsters.
- Financial and retirement trend problems. This group is also at risk because they’re considered wealthy. The riches they’ve gathered throughout their lives and the pensions they’re receiving are ideal sources of conning. Some impostors see these assets and the state of their victims and feel that they no longer need them. “After all, someone loathing over his life with poor health conditions has nothing to do with financial security,” some might reason that way. In some countries, these elderly ones are given tokens by the government, and most of them entrust other people with the responsibility of acquiring them. That indeed is another problem with their yearly financial abuse.
- Inability to protect themselves. Unlike banks, these vulnerable ones cannot protect themselves and their assets from robbers. Their defense may be weak. Banks can use safety mechanisms like vaults, security systems, and guards.
- Demographic trends. The population of the elderly is high and is still on the increase. This makes them available in large numbers such that perpetrators will exploit as many as they can. At the end of the year, the record of financial scams among older adults is high since numerous of them would have been duped.
The impacts of this financial scam on this population are disastrous. They can lead to loss of trust in others, depression, feelings of guilt & shame, financial distress, loss of residence, and security. The individual can also become unable to care for long-term needs, hire an attorney for legal justice, replace lost assets, and will be dependent on government assistance.
How to protect the elderly from financial fraud
They can be assisted in various ways to ensure that they are safe from scams that might cause them huge regrets. Here are some ways that can be done:
- Enlighten them on the schemes that scammers will use. These may include forcing them to make quick decisions, using threats, fake caller IDs, and pretending to be government agents. Some also try to get your details like account numbers. Try and seek advice from family members before giving out such information.
- Encourage them to talk about any attempt of fraud. If you’re an older one, don’t shy to share such incidences with a trusted person. You’re not alone, and some people can assist you.
- Report the matter to relevant authorities. Sometimes it’s proper to let the authorities be aware of what has happened. They can help trace the scammer and pin him down. Have at hand the contacts and resources that you can reach out to, including your bank (if money has been withdrawn from your account), the local police, and Adult Protective Services available in your area.
- Offer practical support. If you have older ones under your care, don’t let them feel isolated and socially distanced. These are the loopholes scammers find and use to exploit them. Ensure your dear elderly people are properly cared for. Be there when they need you and understand their aging condition. Do all you can to show them you care!
- Deal with legit lenders. The best way to avoid being a victim of financial scams and fraud is by dealing with reputable online lenders.
The Bottom Line
Older adults find themselves in unexpected financial scams because of their vulnerability. Various types of fraud are used by relatives, family members, friends, and outsiders to get these people down economically. Sadly, the effects are devastating.