The major advances in technology over the last decade or two have made life easier and connected us in many ways. Unfortunately, these advances have also led to an increase in consumer scams, particularly among elderly Texas residents. The ease of communication makes it easy to reach elderly victims. Elderly individuals are often an appealing target to scammers because they are generally financially comfortable, more trusting and less technologically adept.
Types of scams
There are several different types of scams that elderly individuals may fall victim to. A common scam involves contacting elderly victims pretending to be from a technology support company. Scammers tell them something is wrong with their computer or other device and ask for their username, password or other information to “fix” the problem. This provides the scammers with access to the device, where they can retrieve financial or other confidential information.
Government impersonation is another common scam among the elderly. Scammers pretend to be a government member to gain confidential information. They may also pretend to be a family member in need of money, or a member of a non-profit or charitable organization asking for a donation.
Some scams involve advertising rather than direct contact; however, these types of scams are just as dangerous. False advertisements for non-existent services are common, as well as claims that the victim has won a lottery or sweepstakes and must pay a fee to collect the money.
Sadly, even after realizing they’ve been a victim of fraud, elderly individuals may be less likely to report it. They may not know where to report the fraud or how to prove it. Feeling shame or embarrassment over being taken advantage of is also not uncommon.
Thankfully, there are qualified professionals available who can provide advice and guidance in a compassionate and non-judgmental manner. Being a victim of elder fraud is nothing to be ashamed of, and there are options available to remedy the damage.