While I believe in the innate kindness of human beings and while I trust they have our best interests at heart, this is not always the case.
Recently I’ve been struggling with how much fraud is being reported and that senior citizens more often than most other groups are the targeted market for these scams. While I want to believe and trust those who approach me, I’m finding myself, and lots of my friends, are closing the door on offers that sound awfully tempting.
I’ve been taught to be polite, to hear someone out – certainly NOT to slam the door in their faces even before they get started. Again, I find myself having to do this more and more to keep myself protected from scams and rip-offs.
The reasons seniors are targeted more than other age groups is:
1. Seniors tend to have larger savings accounts.
2. As I said above, those born in the 30’s, 40’s and
3. Elderly Americans are less likely to report fraud
don’t know who they should report it to.
4. Senior citizens are more lured in byproducts that will aid in their mobility, overall health and provide more comfort and ease.
I could provide a complete treatise on all the different kinds of scams directed at seniors and what to do to avoid them. Suffice it to say, beware. If it looks too good to be true, it is. Don’t sign anything that you don’t completely understand; and don’t hesitate to say you want to wait to have a relative participate in the decision.
What can you do to balance a healthy sense of skepticism and a desire to trust and believe? This is a difficult question to answer. I know for myself I dislike letting suspicion get in the way of being open to the goodness of the universe. One thing that generally works for me is to ask my friends for their input before deciding to purchase or not: “Do you know about this or that?” “What do you think about it, and what was your experience working with the sellers?” Even with these questions, there is no guarantee you’ll escape being a victim someday.
I try to remain open to the joys of everyday and trust that my uncomplicated life is the best it can be without the need for over-the-top products or services that promise to provide lots but in actuality deliver little in making our lives more productive or fun.
You might also enjoy What Causes Senior Moments?
Contact Antonia at Antonia@TheJoyofAgingGratefully.com