Scams on seniors are most often based on emotion, says Doug Shadel, who leads AARP Washington and wrote the AARP book “Outsmarting the Scam Artists.” Con men learn to get a “mark” excited, negatively or positively, then make the mark mad.
The elderly scams of diverse like “phantom riches” that promise to make a lot of money, “everyone is doing it” theme, “time is running out,” Con artists can be like people who use undue influence and use a make-believe kinship with the con: “Do this for me, your friend.” Older people are often lonely and are glad to have a new friend t talk to. They sometimes are confused and give out bank information or credit card numbers when cons approach them as friends.
We have been covering financial management as the Instrumental activity of daily living. Is the older person at risk for scams, undue influence, credit problems, or other financial difficulties because of functional limitations? Does the person show good judgment in regard to finances? Has the person changed lifelong habits in how he or she manages money? What are scams on the elderly?
The National Council on Aging has listed the top 10 scams against the elderly .There are more according to MSE money including Dialing for Dollars and Free lunch seminars.
Since “Ability to Handle Finances “is an IADL assessment, the GCM ot aging professional can help. By reducing their access to the older person, geriatric care managers can protect clients against con artists, door-to-door salesmen, mail and telemarketing schemes purporting to offer the opportunity to “get rich quick.” GCMs can set up systems to screen mail and telephone calls for the vulnerable older adult. When the situation is extreme, this often means diverting mail to a trusted relative, professional or post office box and only introducing appropriate mail to the elder. GCM’s can engage older people in daily activities and enjoyable social engagements to combat the lonesomeness that often leads to elders seeking out the crooks that offer free lunches, companionship, and other enticements.
GCMs need to be knowledgeable about the symptoms of elder abuse so they can respond proactively and reduce the damage to these victims. Starting with an assessment, which identifies the red flags, a plan of care can be developed, as we do for any other need. Fiscal elder abuse can be avoided by treating the isolation and loneliness that older people often suffer. Unlike in the past, families often live long distance, are pre-occupied with their own work and family commitments and are not there to monitor their older relatives. GCMs as their surrogates are well positioned to step in to protect older and dependent adults from those who prey on the vulnerability of this population.