Why Seniors Become Victims of Scams

All too often, seniors are scammed by strangers who approach them under the pretense of doing them a favor or a kindness. In fact, one of the reasons that scammers love to target seniors is that they may not be as naturally suspicious as the general population.

Hence, the success of  the “You Have A Dent in Your Car” scam…

The scammer will approach a senior and point out a dent in her vehicle and claim he can fix it. The scammer will offer to follow the senior home to fix the dent but often will charge far more than was agreed upon. In the meantime, the scammer has the senior’s address and gained the opportunity to learn other valuable knowledge about the senior for future scams.

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Important: The real reason that the “car dent” scam works isn’t because the seniors who fall for it are too gullible and trusting. It’s because predatory scammers are counting on their elderly victims to be more vulnerable and easily intimidated, especially if they live alone.

In the car dent scam — and countless variations of it — the predator exploits their vicitm by jacking up the agreed upon price for a service. The intimidation doesn’t have to be explicit. It’s implied with the demand for money. “You don’t want to pay me what you owe? I know where you live.” That’s why it’s called financial elder ABUSE.

What’s the easiest way to help your aging parents avoid these kind of scams? Tell them to follow the advice they gave you: Don’t talk to strangers. And NEVER let anyone you don’t know follow you home. No matter how friendly they seem. Even if they promise to fix the dent in your car.