Unfortunately, they may a lot less careful when it comes to their money. A surprising new survey by True Link Financial shows that your Mom and Dad may be particularly at risk of fraud if they are:
- Extremely friendly–Members of this group are 4 times more likely to be defrauded, possibly because they’re more willing to give people the benefit of the doubt
- Financially sophisticated–They’re used to moving around large amounts of money
- Frugal–Thrifty seniors are 5 times more likely to be sucked into a scam because they’re always looking for bargains
The fact is, fraudsters have gotten much more sophisticated and last year tricked seniors out of a staggering $36.48 billion.
Danger to seniors is everywhere
Take a look at the chart above, which is adapted from the True Link report. See how seniors are being victimized, and the amount of money they lose to fraud. Then consider warning your parents about the best ways to protect themselves. Among the most important:
- Never open a link in an e-mail that comes from anyone you don’t know–Always check the return e-mail address to see if it’s from the Website address of the source it claims to be from. If you have any questions, contact the agency or business by going to their Website.
- Never provide any personal information whatsoever in an e-mail. The IRS, other government agencies, Internet companies, banks, and reputable businesses never request personal information or confirmation of passwords by e-mail. In fact, the IRS only contacts people via U.S. mail.
- Never give any personal information of any kind over the phone, unless you initiated the contact– Again, one of the biggest scams going on today involves a caller saying that he or she is from the IRS, that you owe money, and threatening you with jail or a huge fine if you don’t pay right now. Anyone who gets a call like that should hang up immediately. When in doubt about any IRS matter, call the IRS at 800-829-1040.
See more examples of how con artists are stealing money from seniors and how to avoid–or help your parents avoid–being victimized. Also see how we can protect you and your business from losing money to embezzlers and other fraudsters.by