In a new report, the Better Business Bureau and Western Union provide a series of safety tips designed to prevent financial abuse of the elderly by scammers. These types of abuse can cripple the financial resources of older individuals, and the tips provided are a great way to commemorate tomorrow’s designation as International Elder Abuse Awareness Day by the United Nations.
The tips hail from a joint effort called the BBB Scam Stopper. The agency warns about two scams in particular that tend to take advantage of the charity of older persons. The first involves an individual calling or emailing someone to report a family emergency that requires financial assistance at once. Another situation involves a phony lottery that stipulates a person must provide money before they’re able to claim their prize.
You should be on guard if you ever receive such a solicitation. If an individual or an organization requests an immediate money transfer, do not agree to such unless you know the person is who they claim they are and you can meet them face to face in a public place. If someone can’t do that because of an “emergency,” call around to affected family members to confirm that they truly are in trouble. Should the person ask you not to tell your family what’s going on, that’s a pretty good sign they’re lying.
Scams can happen to anyone. Follow your instincts and do your research to make sure you’re not victimized by a scam.