Reverse Psychology

In a previous article, we looked at some ways that you or a friend could talk to those elderly loved ones in your life about scams, and what to do if he or she had been recently victimized or was a victim in the past. 

Another method you could use to help dissuade them from participating in scams is to use reverse psychology. What this means is to act like you’re going to do something, or are interested in participating too, in an effort to give your loved one a wake-up call as to what’s happening with them. For instance, if you know without question that your loved one is thinking about or has entered a sweepstakes, you can act like you are interested in doing the same thing. By doing so, as we said, psychologists think that this might help open their eyes to the issue.  After all, your beloved friend or family member would not want you to potentially lose out on your own funds, just the same as you don’t want them to lose their money.

If you can ask them why it is they want to enter (or have entered) a sweepstakes or lottery, it might bring to their attention just what’s going on and help them to realize the error.

It’s also important, once this occurs (or even before), that you help them to understand that you are only trying to look out for them and their personal and financial well-being. Let them know that you know they’d do the same thing for you if the situation were reversed. This may help to open them up to having a more in-depth conversation about what’s going on, and why it’s important that they ignore these kinds of mail fraud and scams, as well as what they can do to help protect themselves in the future.