According to the U.S. News & World Report, every year there are 5 million cases of elder fraud in the U.S., resulting in as much as $27.4 billion in losses. Additionally, these crimes are often hard for law enforcement to prosecute because in many cases victims are too embarrassed to report the crimes. The FBI says con artists also know that seniors do not make good witnesses even if they do report the crime due to the effects of age on their memory and the length of time it takes to bring a case to justice.
Experts explain there are several reasons why seniors are more susceptible to fraudulent schemes starting with the fact they tend to be very trusting. Our elderly population was typically raised to be polite, to believe people are basically good, and have a hard time saying “no.” These are the traits con artists exploit. Lonely seniors can easily be preyed upon as they are willing to stay on the phone and engage in conversation with a stranger.
A recent scheme that targeted a large group of seniors was a robocall that informed people they needed to return the call as there was a security issue with their social security number. When the person called back, they were asked for their full name, address and S.S. number, and told their SS# had been comprised and they would be receiving a new one. Authorities warn that if criminals obtain someone’s full name and SS#, it allows them to do all kinds of damage to the victim including trying to collect their benefits.
Another scam is romance fraud, which involves a person being approached by the scammer through dating sites or other social media. A relationship ensues through online contact but never face-to-face. After a level of trust is established, the person is asked to send small amounts of money for alleged emergencies to test their willingness and gullibility. Finally as the scam plays out, the person may give the con artist large amounts of money, or even be used to receive money or goods purchased with stolen credit cards or to transport drugs.
The FBI warns that there are many fraudulent schemes to be aware of including telemarketing scams, Medicare scams, tax fraud, etc. They say, “If you are age 60 or older—and especially if you are an older woman living alone—you may be a special target of people who sell bogus products and services by telephone.” Remember to never give out personal or financial information over the phone or online and do not send money.
The unique mission statement of MorningStar of Beaverton, “to honor, to serve, to invest,” sets us apart from other senior living communities. Our foundation is built upon honoring God, valuing all seniors, and investing in staff with a felt calling to serve. Dedicated to creating a real home for residents within a beautiful setting, we encourage you to schedule a visit to see firsthand the finest senior living in Beaverton.
At MorningStar Senior Living we strive to create a true home where you can enjoy your retirement years as carefree as possible. Offering a lifestyle of comfort, wellness and community, our care team is committed to giving residents a quality of life that other senior living communities simply cannot match.