A brand new report from the Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) reminds us simply how susceptible seniors are to scams.
In 2017, customers ages 60 and above reported the most important particular person financial losses to fraud, based on the Defending Older Customers report.
Even amongst seniors, reported median losses elevated with age. In truth, folks ages 80 and above reported median losses of $1,100 — greater than double the median quantity reported misplaced by any age group underneath 70.
How Seniors Get Scammed
Telephone calls had been probably the most frequent technique of fraud towards seniors. Tech help, enterprise imposters and sweepstakes claims had been probably the most generally reported scams from this age group.
Seniors had been more than likely to be defrauded by the use of bank card fee. However they reported far larger losses once they paid scammers through wire switch. In 2017, folks ages 60 and older paid $104 million through wire switch to fraudsters.
Listed below are a number of of the best hits from latest FTC circumstances towards scammers:
An organization claimed that seniors might get grant cash to pay their private bills like bank card debt or medical payments. Victims had been charged an upfront payment and advised they might get their grant cash quicker in the event that they paid extra charges. The FTC continues to be pursuing this case.
A personalised mail rip-off advised victims that they had received or might win a giant money prize in change for a nominal payment. “Many individuals, together with seniors, paid the charges a number of instances earlier than realizing they [had] been deceived,” the FTC famous. That case can also be ongoing.
In one other rip-off, telemarketers tricked older customers into shopping for tech help they didn’t really want.
However one rip-off would possibly shock you: condominium listings. The FTC recognized a large-scale rip-off that marketed housing for low-income households, the aged and individuals with disabilities. “The FTC alleged that these claims are false or unsubstantiated and that a lot of the listed properties both weren’t accessible or don’t settle for Part eight housing vouchers,” the FTC famous. That case is ongoing as nicely.
Easy methods to Shield Your self (and Your Dad and mom) From Scams
The previous adage stands: If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.
Do not forget that expertise firms don’t routinely name prospects about their computer systems. In case you have a priority a few piece of expertise you personal, contact the corporate’s help desk by yourself.
Obtained a mailer or telephone name that you simply’ve received a prize? Preserve your guard up, and don’t share your monetary info. Chances are high, it’s a faux.
In case you’re in search of respectable sources for housing info, tech help or monetary help, cease by the reference desk at your native library. These consultants are well-versed in sharing native, reliable sources with patrons.
Suspect you’ve been scammed? Don’t be embarrassed — take motion to regulate the injury and alert others. You’ll need to report the rip-off to the FTC, and you could must notify your banks, bank card issuers and credit score bureaus.
Lisa Rowan is a senior author at The Penny Hoarder.
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