Telemarketing Fraud Against the Elderly

Telemarketing Fraud has been happening for decades to the general population. Schemes may involve asking for money for a fraudulent charity, cause or event. Many schemes involve the attempt to gain credit card information from a person for illegal use. While many telemarketers are legitimate workers from a call center service, many are only out to rob people of their money. Still other telemarketing fraud tricks are to steal the identity of someone. Telemarketing fraud is a serious issue, and one that is not allowed by law. Unfortunately, it continues on even today, and one group that is targeted the most is the elderly.

Telemarketers may target the elderly because many times, they won?t hang up. They may also be easily tricked and fooled into believing they are talking to a legitimate company or charity. Some senior citizens may not be well enough mentally to understand what a telemarketer is completely saying, and may give out too much information out of confusion.

Luckily, there are some signs of telemarketing fraud. The elderly should be informed what to look for, what to do, and who to call if they think they are a victim of telemarketing fraud. One sign is a ?too good to be true scenario?, such as winning a large amount of money without ever having entered a contest. Another sign is a telemarketer who will not send you any written information about their company or charity, or provide you with a website to check them out. Knowing the signs of fraud can be the first step to preventing it from happening. The elderly should also be aware that there are laws to protect them against fraud, and where they can go or call if they have fallen prey to a scheme.

The best prevention of telemarketing fraud against the elderly is knowing how to protect yourself. Being on the Do Not Call national registry is one way to cut down on all calls, and to get yourself off of a list that may be illegally obtained for fraudulent means. The elderly should never give out personal information, such as credit card numbers, social security numbers or checking account numbers over the phone. Additionally, never send money in to claim a prize or collect on a bigger sum. An answering service may also be a good idea, so that all calls can be screened first.


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