The FTC releases regular reports regarding fraud and scams. In the 2019/2020 report, the FTC found that adults aged 60 or older are less likely to report losing money than younger adults.
Older adults did top the amount of money lost. On average, adults between the ages of 60 and 69 reported median losses of $600. Those between the ages of 70 and 79 lost around $800 (median). Those age 80 or older had median losses of $1,600. That was almost three times the median loss that the 20 to 29 age group reported losing.
How much do your parents know about being scammed? If they got a call saying a thief used their credit card in another state or country, would they think twice about confirming their information with that caller? It’s time to take a closer look at how to stop them from being scammed.
The Top Five Scams
During 2019 and 2020, adults aged 60 and older were more likely to fall for these five scams.
- Online shopping scams
- Tech support scams
- Imposter scams
- Romance scams
- Lottery and sweepstakes scams
While older adults did fall for online shopping scams, the good news is that they didn’t lose much money to them. The median loss was around $130. Younger adults were more likely to lose more money in these scams.
When it came to money lost in a scam, older adults lost more in romance scams. This is often tied to loneliness and a person’s desire for companionship. That’s why it’s essential to make sure your parents have someone stopping by to socialize and keep them company.
Make Sure Your Parents Take These Preventative Measures
You may have a hard time keeping your parents from answering the phone. They should figure out who the caller is and decide if they should continue the call or hang up. Make sure they know it’s okay to hang up.
One of the current popular scams regards COVID-19 vaccinations. These vaccinations are free. Your parents should never pay to get the vaccination. They also should never pay to have their vaccination card.
Another is an Amazon shopping scam. The caller reports that they’re an Amazon account representative and says a hacker ordered items on the person’s Amazon account. To prevent the fraudulent transactions from happening again, the scammer asks for help catching them by adding money to gift cards. Unfortunately, the scammer is only after the gift cards.
Make sure they know they should never send money, gift cards, or cash to anyone. If they’re told they owe money, you can help them verify it’s legitimate and make the payment to the correct company or bank.
It’s time to think about having elderly care aides available to help your parents during the day. If your parents are more likely to answer the phone or open the door to a stranger, companionship services are essential. Call an elderly care aide to learn more.