Among the most susceptible individuals who are prone to fraud and financial exploitation are seniors or older adults. They can lose money or possessions due to fraudulent transactions or scams. With that said, they may not be able to earn back what they have lost which can be especially devastating to them. It was because of this that International Fraud Awareness Week was born.
International Fraud Awareness Week
The effort to raise awareness of preventing fraud worldwide will take place on the 3rd week of November from 12 to 18. It is a global effort to reduce the impact of fraud which everyone should be aware of particularly the very vulnerable independent living for seniors.
Fraud is not only targeted to individuals but also big businesses. This is even more troublesome as technology advances wherein fraud is expected to grow as well. So, governments, businesses, and individuals have put measures to minimize the risks of getting defrauded with the creation of the International Fraud Awareness Week.
Seniors and Fraud in Independent Living for Seniors
According to a recent report, the FBI has raised public awareness regarding schemes of elderly fraud due to increasing cases in the past years. In fact, a total loss of $3.1 billion has been reported by adults aged 60 or older complaining about being defrauded online in 2022 alone. This is an 84% increase in losses in comparison to complaints filed in 2021.
Fraud targeting elders is a form of older adult exploitation in which perpetrators steal or misuse financial assets, income, personal identifying information, or savings from a person over the age of 60. This happens without their direct consent or knowledge. It often uses deception to scam older people by posing as a person of trust or a shrewd investor offering a financial payout.
Moreover, citizens are encouraged to be cautious and vigilant. There are reports that scammers are also impersonating National Elder Fraud Hotline staff. They are attempting to obtain personal information or money by threatening potential victims about a caller filing a suit. Such can be dealt with by reporting related incidents to the Federal Trade Commission.
Fraud Protection in Independent Living for Seniors
It is important to keep independent living for seniors protected from fraud by learning how to avoid potential scams. Such may include the following tips that can help you protect your older loved ones.
- Recognizing scam attempts
- Being cautious of unsolicited phone calls, door-to-door service offers, and mailings
- Resisting pressure from threats of taking immediate action by calling the police
- Protecting personally identifiable information and shredding financial docs
- Checking financial statements every month for any suspicious activity
- Ensuring that your anti-virus and security protection apps are updated
- Consulting family members or friends when making any financial decision involving someone you don’t know personally
The last thing you want to see is your elder loved ones getting scammed. That’s why working with trusted financial protection institutions is imperative for fraud protection.
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