When you think about your elderly parents, all kinds of positive emotions probably come to mind.
Sadly, other people see your elderly parents as targets. Keeping your elderly parents safe from scammers doesn’t have to be too difficult, though. Just be aware of these three common tactics.
Senior Scams That Take Advantage of the Technology Gap
Chances are your elderly parents are okay with technology but probably not as savvy as you or your kids are.
Unfortunately, this gives scam artists a big opportunity. Phishing emails are a perfect example. The elderly often think that any email that looks legitimate is legitimate. All a cybercriminal needs to do is add the right graphics and some official-sounding language, and they can “be” anyone from a government official to the utility company to someone from their doctor’s office.
Whatever the case, they’ll have little trouble asking your elderly parent for money or personal information and most likely getting it.
Tell your elderly parent to never pay for anything through an email unless they speak to you first. It’s their money, so don’t make this sound like an order. Just volunteer the 5 or 10 minutes it will take every now and then to protect them from phishing scams.
The Grandchild Scam
If you keep your parents safe from phishing scams, you’ll be a long way toward making sure they never become victims.
However, just because phishing scams are the most popular option that doesn’t mean they’re the only weapon in the modern fraudster’s arsenal.
Another tactic these criminals love is as disgraceful as it is effective.
Someone calls your parent. As soon as they answer, the young voice on the other end of the phone calls them “grandma/grandpa” and immediately launches into a plea for help. They’re in trouble and can’t get a hold of anyone else.
Keeping your elderly parents safe from scammers can be tough simply because they have the best of intentions in situations like this. Lots of people who have fallen for these senior scams are plenty smart and lucid, but the moment they heard their loved one was in trouble, they kicked logic to the curb and moved to act.
Simply telling your parent about these types of senior scams may be enough to ensure they’re careful.
Promising Anything That’s Too Good to Be True
Another group of senior scams that should be easy to avoid are promises that are too good to be true.
Yet, year after year, the elderly fall for investment schemes that aren’t real, or “Nigerian prince scams.”
Again, you never want your parents to feel as though you’re taking over their money, but warn them about these scams and, once more, just volunteer a second pair of eyes to look at any opportunities they should come across.
At Mooney Lyons, we can help you protect your elderly parents’ money. If you’d like help with anything from explaining the risks they face to putting together an investment strategy, contact us today.