Including Some Ways to Protect Yourself
An Important Contemporary Issue
"Senior Fraud" and
"Senior Financial Fraud" have been practiced daily, for years, in hundreds of ways, by thousands of perpatrators, upon thousands of normal, unsuspecting citizens.
The Federal "Do Not Call" legislation should provide a great deal of help in preventing these abuses, if Seniors take the time to include themselves on the list. But "thinking on one's feet" is still the best solution to avoid becoming a victim of the "con artists" intentions.
As we move through the "Electronic
Age," the old, simple, "person-to-person" techniques of Senior fraud are still effectivly put to use, but new schemes are developing as rapidly as modern conveniences can be
invented--and then utilized by the scammers. Internet scams, money recovery scams, credit card fraud and theft, and identity theft are recent and current examples of the "new"
and silent form of fraud. This new array of tools, in the hands of those intent on theft, is formidable.
"Sweetheart Scams," wherein a
younger person, or even a person of the same age, insideously approaches an older person with no intent other than to take their money and property, (and, in fact, has even led to murder),
are discussed in "Guarding Your Gold II."
This "silent" technique has been successfully practiced for decades, and a sluething organization, "Elder Angels," whose contact information is available in the book, can offer some help.
From The Book: (Excerpted from the seventeen page chapter)
"What comes to your mind when you hear the word "Con-man?"
What is meant by the word "Con-game?" What is a "Con artist?" Simply, the "Con" portion of each terminology is short for "Confidence." Yes, "Confidence."
Remember that word each time you listen to some fast-talking dude who tries to convince you that your Social Security number, credit-card numbers, bank account or checking account numbers are any of his or her business. Will they all be fast-talking? No. Will they all be very good at giving you their pitch? Yes. Will they all contact you by phone? No.
Will they all try to gain your...confidence? YES. That's what their game is all about. Confidence."
"Greed?" you question. Yes, greed. Greed by both parties. The greed of con artists who prey on the greed of simple people. More than a few normally clear thinking people lose their wits when what seems like an innocuous offer for a "small fee" against making thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars, raises its serpentine head. Greed enters in, and hundreds of people daily loose thousands of dollars
(and their own self respect)
when what seemed like "such a sweet deal" turns sour. So the basis for Senior fraud, and fraud in general, can really be identified then in two words, "confidence" and "greed."
That sets the table for the con artist, and the meal begins. "
"On the other hand, since we already know that older people possess
most of the wealth in the United States, the senior market is afloat with products designed to appeal to retirees and target marketing is the tool of choice for advertisers. All too
sadly, this same market is the target of choice for fraud, and just as legitimate enterprise seeks to court this group, so do the scammers.
There is a bit of a difference, however. When con men target their client, they become "prey," and the word "target" takes on very serious meaning.
The scammer knows no bounds, has no regard for weakness; exploiting it to the fullest, and has an immunized total disregard for the feelings or finances of the elderly."
"It sometimes seems that no matter how hard local law enforcement
officers, national interest groups, and various consumer oriented entities try to educate retireds and the public in general about various contemporary con games, many people simply
fail to listen and fall victim. There are thousands of schemes going at all times,
and I suspect that in this day and age, for every crook removed from the streets and "boiler rooms," there are at least three new recruits ready, willing and well trained to take his or her place in the con-artists "Hell of Fame."