Mom and Dad are getting older in your eyes, and many things are starting to show up that
concern you. Here are some Reasons that Seniors are more Vulnerable to Scams and some
things you can watch out for and talk over with your parents.
Computer Innocence, Seniors were not raised with computers and can be less savvy to hackers’
tactics. For example, they may not question the authenticity of a pop-up window that tells
them they have a virus. They may click on the links, call the number to fix the problem.
Microsoft estimates that 3.3 million Americans are a victim to tech support scams and figure
that some $1.5 Billion a year lost to these scams.
Interact with your parents & share the things that are scams. Have them have a relationship
with a computer service provider you trust. Best to check before clicking, I would say.
Financial concerns show up when Seniors have access to liquid financial assets. They make
them an attractive target. I often hear that for people with valuable equity positions in their
homes — those who live in great locations and have large parcels of land. Offers come daily
from Investors, Real Estate Brokers, and private parties offering to buy the home. Sorting that
all out can be overwhelming, and if the person targeting them finds them on a vulnerable day
when they are not feeling the best, they may say “yes.” Setting the property up in a Trust could
make this more difficult.
The home is also likely to attract fake contractors, high bids for simple projects. Financial scams
also exist around commercial pitches to reduce property taxes, refinancing offers, with people
convincing them to tap out the equity in their home for other things.
Social media makes it pleasant for Seniors to connect with those friends and family that is far
away. However, it can also lead them to be a target for scammers. Seniors can have a trusting
nature and a caring heart for family members in tuff situations or causes that are near and dear
to their hearts. According to the National Council on Aging, in nearly 60 percent of all elder
abuse and neglect incidents, the perpetrator is a family member, an adult child or spouse.
Cognitive impairments give way to manipulation and deception techniques. I hear, sometimes,
the senior is victimized long before anyone discovers what the situation is, and then it is too
late. Money has is lost.
Seniors have time on their hands. Plenty of time to talk to strangers that lead them into scams.
More than one-third of seniors surveyed in the latest Nation Poll on Healthy Aging said they felt
a lack of companionship at least some of the time.
Medicare is also subject to scammers looking for medical records, verifying social security
numbers for obtaining care, or for prescription drugs needed. Scammers will threaten a loss of
coverage if the Senior doesn’t provide the information they are looking to uncover.
These are All scary and concerning situations for Seniors and their families.
I am a Certified Senior Real estate Specialist (SRES). If you are looking for resources about
potential scams or where to report these scams, please call me. Plus, tips and institutions that
can help you avoid possible abuse in the future. Feel free to reach out. I can send you more
information. Stay Safe!
Realtor - Managing Broker
Teresa Barthol -Managing Broker with eXp Realty Seattle. Brings 22 plus years’ experience to consult with clients about real estate in the 3rd and 4th quarters of their lives. . With longevity in Real Estate Teresa loves to share her optimistic problem solving skills, creative out of the box thinking along with her enthusiasm for great outcomes. “Believe,” she will say, your desires in life will be realized. Teresa focuses on Lifestyles to Live within the four walls you call home.
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