How does vulnerability increase in the older generation allowing some Seniors to become pray to scams that they may have been immune to in their earlier years?
According to a report by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, “The percentage of seniors who have fallen pray to scams has greatly increased in the past ten years.” The authors of the study titled, “Gullible People: Why Are Certain Ages So Easily Scammed?” explain that “Grams and Gramps are easy targets of scams and fraud due to the deterioration or damage to their prefrontal cortex, a section of the brain located right above the eyes that controls our beliefs and doubts. As people age beyond 60 years they become more vulnerable to scams, frauds and practical jokes. The questioning mind of some seniors is lowered to the level of young children.”
A recent study at the University of Iowa found that “when a section of the brain, the Ventromedial, which controls our beliefs and doubts deteriorates, the individual is more susceptible to become a victim of fraud and scams.” The study adds, “We suggest that vulnerability to misleading information, outright deception and fraud in older adults is the specific result of a deficit in the doubt process that is mediated as people pass the age of 60.”
According to Yahoo News, last year the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Center (CAFC) received over 42,000 complaints from Canadians about marketing fraud with losses close to 48.5 million dollars. The American site, USA.Gov, lists ways to protect oneself from Common Scams and Frauds, and instructs us on how to safeguard oneself from Common Scams, Housing Scams and Identity Theft and how to Report Scams and Frauds. Just reading these warnings may raise anyone’s blood pressure by recognizing the scope of all our vulnerabilities.
Perhaps adopting a skeptical approach to ALL offers that seem too good to be true is a first step in protecting ourselves from scammers of all kinds. Psychologically, some scammers begin their offers by flattering the future victim with compliments abort his/her status, power or professional influence. We must be very cautious in allowing flattery by strangers to reduce our level of caution or suspicion. Optimistic, trusting and kind people are more likely to become victims of the manipulations of dishonest, cunning and immoral individuals.
Protect yourself from becoming a victim of scams:
– Adopt a less than trusting attitude toward strangers who offer “A special deal –just for you!”
– Never say “Yes” on the phone to an “exceptional offer that is about to expire soon.”
– Understand that no exceptional opportunity is lost if one chooses to research it further.
– Abstain from feeling flattered by an unknown individual, especially on the phone.
– Choose to hear the offer and delay your acceptance until you have had time to research and validate the veracity of the offer.