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Stay Ahead of Scam Artists
Seniors are a vulnerable population. It’s common for seniors to feel lonely or isolated if they live at home. This makes them the favorite prey of scam artists who exploit these feelings to their benefit. Phone scams, email fraud and even door-to-door con men have made money off of seniors who were just trying to be kind. According to the Federal Trade Commission, more than a quarter of all people who were victims of a scam last year were over the age of 60.
One group of seniors in California has taken action. Forming the Stop Senior Scams Acting Program, this group of aging Americans visit nursing homes, senior centers, churches and more, performing a series of skits meant to inform their audience about common scams. Musical numbers, pamphlets and interactive scenes help their audience experience common scam scenarios and instruct them on how to avoid them.
Until the Stop Senior Scams Acting Program organizes an East Coast tour, it’s up to seniors and their loved ones to stay vigilant against these scam artists. The Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offer customized lists of common scams in your area. Education is the most powerful tool against these scammers. Take time with your loved ones to talk about the scams, discuss a strategy for dealing with scammers and practice scenarios.
If you have been the victim of a scam, don’t be afraid to speak out. Seniors often don’t report crimes because they feel a sense of shame. By reporting the scam and working with the police you’ll be helping others avoid the same fate.
Want to help protect your aging loved ones? Consider a Daughter Down the Street service. Have someone stop in to visit the senior in your life when you can’t. These companions can chat with seniors, take them to run errands and out on excursions. These types of visits can help seniors by providing them with socialization and a person looking out for them on a daily or weekly basis.
Whether you’re receiving emails from a Nigerian prince who wants to move his money, or get a phone call about an account change that requires you to update your credit card information over the phone, scams are everywhere. Remember: if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. At Capital City Nurses, we know that seniors are a vital part of our communities and we believe that a little education can help them enjoy their years without fear.