Training the trusting generation: Scams on the elderly and how to prevent them

With 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 each day, the size of the elderly population is getting larger. Unfortunately, so is the number of elderly citizens who fall victim to scams targeting their age group.

Photo retrieved from the FBI website.

Elderly are scammed about $2.6 billion per year.|Photo retrieved from the FBI website.

Scammers often target the elderly because of their trusting nature. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, as of 2012, Baby Boomers were the most trusting age group in America. This was decided based on their answer to the question, “Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or that you can’t be too careful in dealing with people?” Forty percent of Baby Boomers expressed beliefs of the former, while the same was only true for 19 percent of Millennials.

Scams come in many forms but usually occur via technology like the internet and telephone. This was the case for University of Illinois alumnus Dylan Rossi’s grandfather, who was scammed out of money over the telephone last November.

“They come from a generation that was more trusting of people,” said Erin Rossi, daughter of victim. “These crooks prey on that.”

While his situation is tragic, it is not unique. In attempts to raise awareness about such scams, members of the Rossi family agreed to share their story.

Though notifying the elderly about these scams is undoubtably important, additional preventative measures can also be taken, such as consulting family members and educating yourself. Check out this video for additional tips.

This article was written by Bailey Bryant, Sony Kassam, Shannon Kelly and Johnathan Hettinger.

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