Senior citizens are such popular targets for white-collar scam artists. Some factors are the growing number of seniors in the population and seniors concerns to increase their income from investments and improve their health. The scams profiled include home-improvement projects, where a person takes the victim's money but does not perform the work promised; investment frauds and controlling their money for the future; and health and medical scams, which promise the equipment and service that do not perform as advertised. Also, research was taken from a survey from a rehab center with most of them senior citizens. The primary advice for preventing such white-collar crimes is to ...view middle of the document...
A survey that was distributed confirmed this fact; half of them are victims to scams and/or fraud within the last 5 years. Most of them were victims to advertising sales and phone calls from sponsoring companies. Less than fifteen percent have notified the police and/or a family member about the situation with their money. In addition, less than five percent told their banks and credit card companies about it and got some of their money back. About thirty four residents explained the amount of money lost on average was about $13,763.28. This number was astonishing and in addition, seven other respondents claimed to have lost over $25,000 from con artists recently.
Senior citizens are often retired and living on fixed incomes and savings, and the promise of economic security can be very alluring. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to con artists. Often, they are lonely, isolated from their families, and sometimes more willing than in earlier years to believe what they are told. Some of the elderly suffer from a mental or physical frailty that leaves them less able to defend themselves against the crime. Also, they may be financially insecure and may want to believe the con artist's promises of future wealth and security (FBI –Senior Citizens, n.d.).
According to the FBI, a number of senior citizens are being targeted for a various reasons. The first reason is senior citizens are most likely to have a nest egg, which means to save money for retirement, to own their home and/or to have excellent credit, all of which make them attractive to con artists. The police reported that those who are targeted were born between the year of 1930 and 1950. Research has shown that older Americans are less likely to report a fraud because they do not know who to report it to, are too ashamed at having been scammed or don’t know they have been. When an elderly victim does report the crime, they often make poor witnesses. Con artists know the effects of age on memory and they are counting on elderly victims not being able to supply enough detailed information to police (FBI –Seniors, n.d.).
For certain con artists or criminals that are targeting the seniors, the largest crime against them is insurance fraud. Every United States citizen or permanent resident that are over the age 65 qualifies for Medicare, so there is rarely any need for a scam artist to research what private health insurance company older people have in order to scam them out of some money. This attracts con artists to whip up new schemes and fake health products and/or insurances to scam the savings of the elderly and hopefully to get something from them. Older citizens are likely to accumulate savings over the years and are likely to own their home and/or have a decent line of credit, since they usually don’t spend a lot of money. The senior citizens usually are often in a financial stable position (Scams and Fraud, n.d.).
Statistics on fraud against the elderly, sometimes called...