Q:

What scams should senior citizens be aware of to avoid becoming victims?

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Quick Answer

Sources such the FederalBureau of Investigation and the National Council on Aging list a variety of scams targeted toward senior citizens, including financial scams such as health insurance or Medicare fraud, telemarketing scamsand funeral or cemetery fraud.These scams typically focus on tricking the scam victim into purchasing a good or service that is never delivered or otherwise conning the victim into giving away money or financial information such as bank account or credit card numbers. The FBI notes that the people perpetrating the scams typically rely on senior citizens' social habits of remaining polite and their decreased intellectual functionality.

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Full Answer

The FBI offers specific advice that senior citizens can follow to avoid becoming victims of scams and fraud. For example, seniors are encouraged to never sign blank health insurance forms, which can be used for health insurance fraud. Seniors should also carefully read any contracts prior to purchasing goods such as cemetery plots or burial caskets.

Telemarketing and Internet-based scams can be avoided through research with reputable organizations such as the Better Business Bureau. Because fake charities often target the elderly, seniors who receive a phone call or other solicitation from a person claiming to represent a charity should ask for written materials and wait to review these materials before donating money.

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