Financial scams against seniors increased by 60% during quarantine. Learn how to prevent elderly people from being scammed and protect the ones you love. Check out!
Being the victim of a scam applied by swindlers usually generates a lot of guilt and embarrassment for the elderly. Therefore, on many occasions where a person falls into a trap and ends up losing money and/or valuables, the decision ends up being not to register a police report (BO), even though it is essential for investigation and crime prevention.
According to delegate Leonardo Carneiro, from the Police Station for Embezzlement and Cargo Diversion of Curitiba (DEDC), for Gazeta do Povo, these scams can indeed be avoided.
You just need to explain to your elderly relative that he should not believe in situations where there is a possibility of making easy money.
“It is the first thing that people should be suspicious of, there is no deal from China, there is no easy gain and negotiations always present some problem”, warns the delegate.
It is also important to be aware of the different types of scams that already exist and to always be suspicious of new traps, police say that every year criminals are becoming even more creative.
Know the main scams that take money from the elderly
Criminals, especially swindlers, are always pretending to want to help or benefit someone. Being extremely nice and simple is part of the strategy they use to deceive people, they can usually offer or ask for help, depending on the situation. See below the main types of scams that apply to the elderly:
The winning ticket scam is already an old acquaintance of Brazilians. In this situation, the criminal appears to be a humble person and claims to have won the lottery or to receive compensation from the bank.
But cannot receive this money due to some impediment, the excuses usually vary a lot, it may be because he does not have documents or even because you need to travel from the city right away.
Therefore, the scammer claims that he will pass the winning ticket to the victim in exchange for a considerably lower value. After receiving the amount, the criminal disappears and the victim realizes that she has been tricked.
How to protect yourself?
To prevent this situation from happening to your elderly relative, it is important to explain that easy money offers do not exist, it is necessary to be suspicious of generous offers, especially from unknown people.
Stories are often moving and inspiring, they lead us to believe that the truth is being told, but in the end, we run the risk of being deceived and losing a considerable amount of money.
The scam of the wrong purchase is also common among the elderly population. Through a phone call, the criminal informs about a high-value purchase that was made with the customer’s card. In this case, the elderly person may get scared and believe that their card has been cloned and, when trying to solve the situation, they end up informing the data and personal information of the embezzler.
How to protect yourself?
The basic rule of thumb to get out of a situation like this is to never trust bank card and bank account information to people you don’t know. Avoid confirming data through calls and say that you prefer to resolve the matter in person at the bank branch.
Very common among retirees, the legal process is blown through a letter or phone call that the elderly person receives at home, in the document it is written that the person won a case in court, but before receiving the amount it is necessary to pay the fees of the lawyer.
The naive old man, excited by the news of the gain, usually makes the deposit immediately, and only when he does not receive any return, he realizes that he has fallen into a trap.
How to protect yourself?
The Civil Police suggests that before making any payment, the elderly should be instructed to seek information about the existence of this process. In addition, relying on the help of a trusted lawyer to verify the veracity of these situations is also very efficient.
The increasing number of elderly people who use technology as a form of communication has increased the number of scams through messaging applications.
Try to guide the elderly person not to click on links sent and in case of people asking for deposits on behalf of friends or family, always try to make sure that they are really talking to the person they know.
Being a victim of a scam is something that can happen to anyone, however, the elderly, especially those retired, is often the preferred target of these criminals and swindlers.
But falling into a trap like the ones mentioned above is no shame for anyone, before feeling guilty and deceived, look for the nearest police station and file a police report, in this way, new attempts can be avoided.
After our tips on how not to let your elderly relative fall into a scam, it became much easier to get to know and know how to guide behavior in each situation. Stay tuned and explain to your family member that you have to be suspicious of easy gains and unknown people!
And as a bonus tip, we’d like to warn you about another type of scam.
So far we have only talked about scams carried out by unknown people, which are the most common, but we cannot ignore situations that involve people close to the elderly.
In some cases, people hired as caregivers take advantage of the fact that they are close to the elderly person on a daily basis, to gain their trust and apply scams.
It is not possible to predict when this will happen. In the past, it was possible to request a criminal record certificate before hiring, but today this is no longer possible due to the LGPD.
This brings important social benefits, avoiding discrimination, but makes it difficult to predict possible problems and risks for the elderly.