Friday, August 13, 2010

How to Protect Seniors from Money & Telemarketing Scams

Anyone with a computer, an address, a telephone or a doorbell is a potential victim of some unknown entity attempting to swindle us out of our identity and money.
Telemarketing scams seem more likely to target older Americans. A 1995 AARP study found half of the consumers targeted for such scams were 50 or older (an age group that comprises about 40% of the adult U.S. population), while a more recent report by the National Fraud Information Center showed 34% of those victimized were over 60 (an age group that comprises 23% of the adult population).

An AARP study of a phone-based lottery scam where victims were induced to pay a fee to get supposed winnings found the vast majority of victims (71%) were 75 or older.

Although not an elite group when it comes to the subject, seniors are particularly vulnerable to scams for a number of reasons.
• They may become victims of telemarketing schemes simply because their likelihood of being home during the day to answer the phone is greater. This also applies to senior citizens in Assisted Living environments who have their own phone lines.
• Many seniors are isolated or lonely and may respond more favorably to a friendly voice on the other end of the line that comes across as familiar or some pleasantly dressed, polite person calling at their front door.
• They may also simply have the in-bred notion that hanging up on people while they’re still taking is just downright rude.
• An elderly person may, out of the kindness of their heart, grant desperate requests for financial help by a perpetrator.
Ways to help protect and prevent your elderly family member from becoming a victim should include the following:
• Warn them that any solicitor pressing them for a quick decision citing an impending deadline to “cash in” on whatever they’re promising is a scam.
• Become aware that some callers may identify themselves as calling from a well-known company or bank, hoping to “snag” them into providing information such as account or credit card numbers
• Some telemarketers actually start the process by sending unsolicited literature through the mail that includes a phone number to call for an “instant” solution to a problem.
• When discussing these points with an elderly person, avoid the temptation to “preach”, which can quickly turn into your advice being tuned out.
• Report phone fraud to the FTC, providing important information to help law enforcement officials bring scammers to justice.
• Register their phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. Registering can help limit the number of telemarketing calls you receive, so you can be more alert to calls you do get.

Assisted Living Marketing services are provided by, a leading referral system in the assisted living industry. We provide the perfect match between seniors searching for a facility and assisted living facilities nationwide and take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information, call 1-800-768-8221 or visit Assisted Living Pennsville.

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