Ask the Chief
veryone needs to take a moment and talk to their senior parents about scams. Seniors are being prayed upon more and more with many of them losing their life savings. I know of people who have lost tens of thousands of dollars with no hope of getting it back or holding the thieves accountable. These scams are very sophisticated and well-made. They often involve layers of people in multiple states or countries. They have computers calling hundreds of numbers at one time in hopes of getting someone to answer while sending out thousands of emails to find a victim. They spin a well-rehearsed story that is designed to overwhelm your mom or dad. Outrageous promises are made, followed by high-pressure time-sensitive decision-making and warnings not to involve others. These thieves customize their scams to fit holidays, natural disasters, family emergencies, a failing economy, politics, and more. Some of you will say that it won’t happen to your family because your parents are still sharp and managing things well. Sadly that is a bad assumption. The victims that I have worked with have been intelligent, in full possession of their minds and body, and continue to manage their personal and professional affairs. Scams are designed to prey upon your basic human needs and desires. Wealth, security, opportunity, and more. The best thing that you can do is sit down with your family and discuss ways to protect your mom and dad. Find ways to secure their accounts. Find ways to protect them online and prevent scam calls. Teach them to hang up on people at the first sign that something is not right or too good to be true. Teach them to never make a rash decision and to speak with a trusted family member before sending anyone money or giving them access to a computer or banking account. This type of crime is very easy to prevent but it must be done at the family level.