There is a reason why conmen pick on seniors.
It’s because they are particularly vulnerable to fraud in two specific areas.
The first is money matters, such as investments, banking and insurance. The second is health.
Even if many seniors are living on a fixed income, generally speaking as a group, they have cash in the bank. Many own their own homes and their property is often mortgage free. Many also have credit cards with above average spending and cash-advance limits because they tend to pay their balances in full every month.
Then, the older we get, the less capable we tend to be when it comes to handling stressful and confusing situations.
Crooks see seniors as a low risk target, being less likely than other groups to report fraud. Some senior victims are too embarrassed about having been taken. Some don’t want their sons or daughters to think that they’re no longer capable of handling their own finances. Others don’t know how to go about reporting a crime and worry that, if they do, there could be ramifications. And then, those who do choose to fight back, often make poor witnesses. Memory isn’t what it used to be. Exact dates and times are difficult to recall. Verbatim conversations and precise descriptions get muddled.
That said, fraudsters targeting seniors only have to worry about a trial if they actually get arrested. The odds of that happening are remote because they build safeguards into their scams. The most important precaution they take is to put state lines and international borders between themselves and their victims.
After all, why take a big risk by running a scam down the block, when the Internet, phones, faxes, credit cards and on-line bank transfers make it so simple to sit, comfortably and anonymously, hundreds if not thousands of miles away?
“There’s A Sucker Born Every Minute” by Jeffrey Robinson http://www.jeffreyrobinson.com/book-sucker.html )
(c) Jeffrey Robinson 2010, 2012