May 15 is National Senior Fraud Awareness Day
posted by Mike Burke on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 in SHAZAM Blog
May 15 has been designated as National Senior Fraud Awareness Day to raise awareness of the increasing fraudulent activities targeted at U.S. citizens, especially those who are 65 or older. These scams, delivered in person, by mail, on the phone and online deceive the victim and often result in the loss of personal information and retirement savings. Criminals contact seniors through the internet and telephone with creative and convincing pleas for assistance.
Senior fraud is growing
Senior fraud is a growing concern as millions of people are targeted each year in the United States. These include Internal Revenue Service impersonation scams, sweepstakes and lottery scams, grandparent scams, computer tech support scams and identity theft. In 2018, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimated that seniors lose $2,900,000,000 each year to financial exploitation schemes and scams.
Romance scam is common
The romance scam is an often-used technique to scam seniors out of their money. By faking friendship and romantic intentions toward the victim, the fraudster gains the victim’s trust. After lavishing their affection, the fraudster will trick the victim into giving them money. Using a sad tale of lies, the fraudster may claim there’s a medical emergency, they’re starting a business or need money to visit the to-be victim. The GAO also reports that fraudsters collected $230,000,000 through romance scams in 2018. This type of senior fraud is often underreported due to embarrassment and the victim simply not knowing where or how to report the fraud.
Invest in education for your senior clientele
SHAZAM understands how critical it is to train seniors about fraud and scams. We partner with law enforcement, advocacy organizations and consumer protection groups to identify strategies to fight this growing issue. We also educate financial institutions about these scams, identify what to watch for and work to prevent scams from happening.
Help fight fraud
Community financial institutions are in the unique position of interacting with senior customers and being aware of the financial habits of their accountholders. If your financial institution hosts events or activities for your senior clientele, consider devoting a portion of your agenda to education on this important topic.
By looking for the signs of fraud and reporting suspicious activities, we can work together to reduce senior fraud.
SHAZAM, Inc. and ITS, Inc. provide this blog for general informational purposes only. Our blog may be shared by a direct link wherein the content remains as originally presented and has not been altered. SHAZAM, Inc. and ITS, Inc. assume no responsibility for errors or omissions in the contents on the blog. By using this blog, reader agrees that the information published does not constitute nor is a substitute for legal advice which should only be sought from a qualified, licensed attorney.
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