The Baby Boomers are getting older, and the ‘Silver Tsunami’ will soon be extending its demographic might into the senior bracket. With Americans living longer and more productive lives, there are a number of social questions that will have to be answered over the course of the next few years — not the least of which being how to keep our elders safe and secure throughout retirement.
Much of the focus when it comes to seniors and safety has to do with their health, such as preventing falls, or making it easy to access medical care in an emergency situation with a medical alert system. The financial health of the older population, however, is just as at risk, due to a new generation of scammers who target elders.
One of the main methods used by con artists seeking to separate senior citizens from their hard-earned retirements savings is through the telephone. With so many built-in behaviors associated with this most social of technologies, criminals are able to manipulate the elderly into divulging details about their finances that could see their bank accounts emptied without their knowledge. In other cases, older individuals are convinced to sign up for products or services that they don’t need, or which might not even exist, providing a credit card number that is then charged relentlessly with fees and other bogus transactions.
The Attleboro Police have posted a warning to community elders concerning a telephone scam that calls itself the ‘Senior Medical Advisory.’ This automated phone call asks people to use their phone to sign up for the service, which has not been verified as legitimate by the Attleboro Police. The department recommends that seniors simply hang up when this telemarketing scam calls their home, and not to listen to the voice menus that they are presented with.
Another great tip for fighting telephone scams: Caller ID. This feature, which is available with any telephone service, displays the name and number of the caller so that subscribers can decide whether they want to answer the phone or not. There’s no need to pick up the phone out of habit — answering only the calls that come from people they know and trust is a highly effective strategy that elders can use to protect themselves from over-the-line con artists.
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