Each year, 36 billion dollars are being lost by seniors online due to fraud. Senior citizens are getting online more often and they’re not using caution. That $36 billion is 12 times more than was reported even 5 years ago. 43% of seniors in America today show at least one sign of becoming a victim of financial abuse, whether they know it or not.
Why is it that it’s happening to seniors and not younger people? To put it bluntly, they’re often times friendlier and more easily willing to trust people. They answer the phone and engage in conversations with thieves unknowingly, and they respond to emails that should be deleted, as well as many other habits that younger generations know not to engage in. Generally, seniors are simply more trustworthy.
So seniors, what can you do to protect yourselves from fraud? First, don’t answer emails, phone calls, or letters from “officials” asking for your social security number, Medicare number, or any other similar information. Make sure to read the fine print when buying something online or off of the TV. If something seems uncertain, it probably is.
Make sure to use caller ID. If you don’t recognize the number or the name of the caller, don’t answer. Don’t sign up for any investments that you don’t understand. If it seems like something you’re interested in, ask a family member, friend or lawyer to review the investment documents before you sign the papers.