Why Seniors Make Great Targets For Investment Scammers
An oft-repeated quote is: “With age comes wisdom.” So, why are con artists so successful at scamming seniors? Here are a few reasons why we become so easily swayed by fraudsters as we get older.
Seniors aren’t technologically savvy.
Digital communications are evolving more quickly than any other technology in human history, and it’s difficult for anyone – let alone seniors – to keep pace. Malware, viruses, ransomware, and other malicious programs are being created and launched faster than we can create strategies to combat them, and as we age, we are less likely to purchase the latest gadgets and devices. This is largely because we’ve been trained to appreciate appliances and products that last for years. However, when it comes to digital technology, the older the system is, the more vulnerable it is to attack. By failing to research and invest in the latest technical solutions, we are putting our finances at risk.
Seniors are more likely to have savings.
Seniors are more likely to have accumulated savings than their younger counterparts. Moreover, they’re more likely to have easily accessible assets, like cash, so con artists can drain accounts with relative ease.
Seniors are reluctant to report scams.
Sometimes, the shame of having been the victim of fraud leads seniors to keep quiet about their victimization, making them even more attractive targets. Scam artists can commit their crimes again and again without being reported.
Make sure you protect yourself against fraud by regularly doing the following:
- Never, ever open email attachments from senders you don’t recognize. Sometimes, it’s not even a good idea to open attachments from senders you do recognize, since they could be sending you a virus without even knowing it. Also, don’t click on any links in unsolicited emails.
- Check your online account regularly. Log into your all of your financial accounts every day to make sure there is no activity you don’t recognize. The sooner you spot suspicious activity, the easier it is to correct it.
- Don’t be afraid to be difficult. If someone offers you an investment opportunity, ask questions, demand answers, and do your research. Never hand over sensitive information without due diligence.