Why are Elders Targeted for Scams and Crimes?

We covered this topic in a previous article, but it bears repeating. In today’s society, it is not normally the younger generation that falls for scams and crimes, and gets taken advantage of. As a society, the younger people have grown up to be a bit warier of things that seem suspicious to them, but even when we’re on our guard, it can still be hard to tell who is out to help us and who is out to take advantage of or do harm to us.

Seniors and the elderly, however, grew up in a different time period. If you had a friend or family member who grew up in during the Great Depression, chances are good that he or she was taught to treasure and appreciate even the little things. This is also the reason why they tend to think that people are always telling the truth. They wouldn’t dare take advantage of someone else, because of how they were brought up or the era in which they lived their childhood. As such, they aren’t quick to consider that someone might do just that to them.

This is what makes them perfect targets for scammers and con artists. These types of people prey on the overly trusting and helpful nature of the elderly for their own ill-gotten gains. This is why it is so important for us as family members and friends to be on our guard for the seniors and elderly in our lives, since sometimes, they are less likely to do it for themselves.

If you can, try to stop in and check on them regularly. See if they’ve been receiving any strange mail or phone calls asking for money, help, etc. If they don’t seem to understand why you are so concerned, try sitting down with them and having a discussion about the matter. Let them know that you just want them to be safe and secure, and not to be taken advantage of. Ask if you might be able to look at their mail or see their phone, and look for any suspicious calls.

The most important thing you can do is to trust your instincts. If something doesn’t seem particularly right to you, it most likely isn’t. Again, if you’re having issues with getting your relative or loved one to understand, just try your best to reiterate that you are looking out for their safety. 

It is unfortunate that, within society today, there are those who want nothing more than to harm someone in some way, regardless of age. This is why it is so important that we look out not only for ourselves, but for those who most likely wouldn’t think to watch out for things like this on their own. But if we do that—if we take the time to look after those we love, we can rest easier knowing that they are safe and secure, just as they should be.