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"For scam victims to admit they were wrong means they're stupid and unable to take care of themselves," Shadel said.Get investment advice and money-saving tips in the AARP Money Newsletter. So how can you help without hurting their feelings?Read our guides to find out what you should do in the event of card fraud and how to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service if you need to.En español | The elderly lose billions a year to scammers — and you may be at a loss on how to protect them.While the world is full of good people, there are some who aim to capitalize on the naivete’ of others.Criminals pose as friends or salesmen, they gain your trust, and then they take steps to profit from your misfortune.As technology becomes more advanced, so do the methods fraudsters use to scam us.
In many scams, your parents may be targeted more often than other age groups and fall victim more often, too.
Consider setting up online access to your parents' bank and credit card accounts. The most common scams against the elderly include phony lottery and sweepstakes seeking upfront fees to enter or collect; government impostors posing as reps from Social Security and Medicare; the grandparents scam, in which a grandchild is supposedly in deep trouble; offers for free or discount medications (including anti-aging drugs) or medical equipment; and credit card fraud and investment schemes.
This will let you watch over their finances from afar. Women are twice as likely as men to fall for elder financial abuse, especially when they're in their 80s and when living alone.
And once burned, they may be hit up again as easy marks.
All this is made easier for the scammers if you live elsewhere, unable to run interference on incoming phone calls, emails and mailed letters from con artists.
Always pay close attention to who you’re talking to, whether they are online or in person.