Our vulnerability can sometimes increase as we age and those who would take advantage are all too often willing to “help” us ease the grief, the loneliness, the sadness or depression. We can be vulnerable at any age to compliments, words of caring and concern, not to mention love. Self-care is required at any age, but isolation and loneliness can sometimes leave us without the support we had when we were younger and more susceptible to words that we would otherwise think of as flattery.
Too many women, and men, have found themselves stripped of lifelong savings and inheritances by unscrupulous people who regarded them as a mark. The June/July 2015 issue of AARP Magazine tells the story of Amy in great detail. Words of love issued over a three-month period relieved her of $300,000 and she never met the man of her dreams.
The article, which is focused on maintaining safety when engaged in online dating, suggests several steps to avoid becoming Amy. Before are others that I believe would apply as well -
1) Be aware of your feelings of loneliness and isolation – these feelings make us vulnerable to scammers.
2) Find or create a support group of friends and/or relatives who you can trust with sharing doubts. Amy told her friends about her “boyfriend” but not about the money she was giving to him.
3) Don’t give money, in any form, to anyone you have not met and cannot verify the authencity of their needs.
4) Have a trusted, objective third party oversee your finances. What you have missed, they might see. Financial Care for Seniors provides such oversight. Visit our website for more information about our service.
For more information and to stay up-to-date on the scams targeting seniors and the elderly, visit AARP’s Fraud Watch Network: www.aarp.org/fraudwathnetwork